01 April 2011 07:00 [Source: ICIS news]
By Felicia Loo and Liu Xin
SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asian phenol prices are likely to trend higher in the coming weeks, bolstered by rare spot purchases by quake-ravaged Japan and regional plant maintenance, as well as firm downstream demand, market players said on Friday.
Stubbornly high feedstock prices, both propylene and benzene alike, also led to rising prices, they added.
In the week ended 25 March, phenol prices were assessed as $1,920-1,950/tonne (€1,344-1,365/tonne) cost and freight (CFR) ?xml:namespace>
“Phenol supply is very tight. There is hardly any deep-sea supply from the
No spot shipments were seen from
Some of the spot deals were linked to ICIS pricing formula, while other deals fetched prices at $1,790-2,030/tonne (€1,271-1,441/tonne) FOB (free on board)
The plant has a capacity of 250,000 tonnes/year of phenol and 150,000 tonnes/year of acetone.
Mitsui Chemicals restarted its phenol/acetone plant in
Mitsui Chemicals is running its other phenol/acetone plant in
Meanwhile, spot regional supply is quite drained ahead of a major turnaround in
Kumho P&B Chemicals will take its phenol/acetone units off line for 45 days starting from mid-May, and during which it would ramp up the capacity at one of the units.
The capacity of the No 2 unit will be expanded to 135,000 tonnes/year of phenol and 95,000 tonnes of acetone. At present, the unit can produce 100,000 tonnes/year of phenol and 60,000 tonnes/year of acetone, while its No 3 unit has a nameplate capacity of 250,000 tonnes/year of phenol and 155,000 tonnes/year of acetone.
FCFC has two phenol/acetone lines, each with a capacity of 200,000 tonnes/year of phenol and 123,000 tonnes/year of acetone.
Besides bullish supply-demand fundamentals, lofty propylene prices at a two-year high also supported the high price environment, traders said.
“There are many factors pointing to a higher price direction,” said one trader.
Phenol’s main derivatives is BPA used to make polycarbonate (PC) and epoxy resins, phenolic resins, caprolactam, alkylphenols, aniline and adipic acid. The largest market for phenol is BPA followed by phenolic resins.
The main use of acetone is in the manufacture of acetone cyanohydrin, which is a feedstock for methyl methacrylate (MMA). The other major and fast growing derivative of acetone is BPA. Both MMA and BPA are feedstocks for the production of resins and plastics.
Additional reporting by Serena Seng
($1 = €0.70)
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