Europe June phenol dips by €59/tonne on lower benzene costs

04 June 2010 23:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--The European June phenol contract price has further decreased by €59/tonne ($72/tonne) from May due to a lower June contract price in upstream benzene, phenol buyers and sellers said on Friday.

The June phenol contract settled at a pre-discounted price of €1,269-1,309/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), according to data from global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.

The June benzene contract settled at €775/tonne FOB (free on board) NWE, also down €59/tonne from the previous month.

The lower phenol contract price stood in stark contrast to the current market, which remained extremely tight because of severe supply constraints arising from unplanned outages as well as scheduled maintenance shutdowns, players said.

This is because almost all phenol contracts are linked to benzene-related price formulae, so phenol moved lower in line with benzene’s downward movement.

Producers said contractual commitments had been on allocation and, because there was so little material available, they were generally unable to take advantage of phenol shortages by demanding higher spot prices.

Some buyers acknowledged product was very scarce on the spot market and available only at around €200/tonne above the contract price.

The main chemical intermediates and derivatives of phenol are bisphenol A (BPA), which is used to make polycarbonate (PC), and epoxy resins, phenolic resins, caprolactam, alkylphenols, aniline and adipic acid.

($1 = €0.82)

For more on phenol visit ICIS chemical intelligence
To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect

By: Peter Gerrard
+44 208 652 3214

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