US July formula-based phenol contracts fall 6% on weaker benzene

29 July 2011 19:01  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US July formula-based phenol contracts fell by 6% because of cheaper feedstocks, sources said on Friday.

The price for formula-based contracts fell by 5.02 cents/lb ($111/tonne, €78/tonne), tracking the fall of 37 cents/gal in US July benzene.

Sources said freely negotiated phenol contracts for July remain largely unsettled.

In recent months, freely negotiated contracts have carried a premium on formula-based contracts because of the strength of phenol.

Producers expected that the premium would continue in July, meaning freely negotiated contracts should settle at a fall of 3–5 cents/lb.

With prices and demand from Asia for US phenol rebounding, the premium could continue into the third quarter.

However, with weaker domestic demand from the phenolic resins and polycarbonate (PC) markets, the premium could disappear.

Major US phenol producers are Dow Chemical, Georgia Gulf, INEOS Phenol, SABIC Innovative Plastics, Shell Chemical and Sunoco.

($1 = €0.70)

For more on phenol visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: John Dietrich

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