01 April 2011 23:59 [Source: ICIS news]
April phenol settled on a pre-discounted basis at €1,404-1,444/tonne ($2,006-2,063/tonne) FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), down €141/tonne from March.
“The phenol contract price is down, this will give our customers some price relief,” said a producer.
A second supplier said: “The market remains tight and demand for every derivative is strong. I don’t see an end to the current demand situation. In fact, a drop in feedstocks will stop any threat of buyers retreating [from the market] because costs are too high.”
On the buying side, sources accepted that the market was in a tight position owing to CEPSA Quimica’s planned outage and INEOS Phenol reducing output in April by 10% because of cumene shortages in the first quarter.
In relation to the April contract price, a large buyer said: “The market is tight but I can get all I need for the moment. Benzene had dropped so will our phenol price.”
Phenol contracts in Europe are 100% linked to feedstock benzene, with the supply and demand dynamics of the market having little influence over the contract price.
($1 = €0.70)
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