US August cumene prices increase by 5% on higher feedstocks

04 August 2011 21:11  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US August formula-based cumene contract prices rose by 5% from July levels, pushed by higher feedstocks benzene and propylene, sources said on Thursday.

Prices increased by 3 cents/lb ($66/tonne, €46/tonne) to settle at 64-66 cents/lb for August, up from 61-63 cents/lb in July.

The key drivers were the increase of 44 cents/gal in August benzene, which moved higher because of reduced supply and rising energy values, and the slight increase in spot prices of refinery-grade propylene (RGP).

Spot prices for RGP moved higher by 0.75 cents/lb during July and into August.

Demand for cumene remains strong, mostly for the production of phenol. With phenol margins strong enough to cover for weaker acetone margins, cumene demand is expected to remain strong into September, sources said.

Major US cumene producers include CITGO, Flint Hills Resources, Georgia Gulf, Marathon, Shell Chemical and Sunoco.

($1 = €0.70)

For more on cumene visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: John Dietrich

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