Key Europe phenol players will gather to discuss market outlook

14 June 2010 17:26  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--Key phenol and acetone players will discuss the current state of the markets at an industry event this week following two difficult years of falling margins, production cutbacks and poor downstream demand.

The 6th ICIS Phenol-Acetone conference, to be held in Berlin on Wednesday and Thursday, will play host to some of the leading names from across the phenol and acetone community. Areas to be covered include market restructuring, inter-regional trade flows and the future of polycarbonate

Producers and consumers throughout the phenol chain have been affected by the economic crisis, with phenol’s main driver bis-phenol A (BPA) hit very hard.

Global majors INEOS Phenol and CEPSA Quimica both turned down phenol operating rates in the summer of 2008 and production has only recently been ramped up because of a surge in demand for BPA, from both the epoxy resin and polycarbonates sectors.

Strong interest from Asia and a recovery in the automotive industry have been the key drivers for both of these markets.

Producers of adipic acid (ADA), caprolactam, nylon and methyl methacrylate (MMA) all felt the effects of the slowdown. However, since the second half of 2009 all of these markets have gradually started to pick-up, largely as a result of strong demand from Asia.

Every derivative market linked to phenol and acetone has experienced strong demand and improved margins. Strong demand for caprolactam to export to China has been particularly strong and this trend looks sent to continue since there is insufficient local production to feed the nylon 6 market.

The conference will be held in the Pullman Berlin Schweizerhof hotel.

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By: Julia Meehan
+44 20 8652 3214

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