08 June 2010 17:11 [Source: ICIS news]
(recast with chart)
The nearly 80 cents/gal drop in benzene prices since the beginning of 2010 should have helped reverse PC values, which rose to an average of $1.53/lb ($3,373/tonne, €2,833/tonne) on 2 June from $1.32/lb at the beginning of January.
But PC producers said the recent shortage of phenol - the intermediate of benzene and phenol - was blocking any price relief for the plastic, sources said.
“I have not seen falling benzene effecting PC,” a broker said. “Producers are leaning on the phenol shortage.”
Phenol supply contracted dramatically during the first half of this year as producers Dow Chemical, Sunoco, Shell and Georgia Gulf had experienced turnarounds shortly after the US exported huge volumes of material to Asia.
Phenol inventories were easing as Dow, Sunoco and Shell had restarted their lines, however.
The PC supply situation remained opaque, however, with buyers saying they had experienced lead times ranging from six weeks to three days for material.
“We were able to get material within a week - it just depends on who has inventory,” a compounder said.
($1 = €0.84)
For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.
Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.
|ICIS news FREE TRIAL|
|Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index|
Asian Chemical Connections