US Gulf spot phenol, acetone ideas falling on weaker feedstocks

14 October 2011 17:57  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Spot price ideas for phenol and acetone out of the US Gulf (USG) are falling because of weaker feedstocks and less overseas demand, sources said on Friday.

US spot phenol prices were assessed by ICIS at 62–66 cents/lb ($1,367–1,455/tonne, €984–1,048/tonne) FOB (free on board) USG (US Gulf), down by 5–6 cents/lb from previous assessments.

A trader said prices were closer to the low 60s cents/lb range, and that US producers were eager to sell at 62 cents/lb because there was so little overseas demand.

Asian spot phenol prices have been falling for most of the third quarter, taking away a major export market for US product.

A US producer echoed this sentiment, saying it was selling its product into Asia in the mid-to-low-60s cents/lb range because of weaker global benzene values.

A South American phenol producer said it was also seeing less volume shipped into Asia, and that it would be focusing its fourth-quarter efforts on South America rather than exports.

In the spot acetone market, US prices were assessed lower at 48–52 cents/lb FOB USG, on sinking spot prices for US refinery-grade propylene (RGP).

Previously, US spot acetone prices were assessed at 51–55 cents/lb FOB USG.

A US trader said it was seeing lower spot prices, as most Asian buyers also were being offered cheaper European product.

Producers in the US and South America agreed that it is becoming slightly more difficult to move product into Asia, and that spot acetone prices have fallen.

Major phenol and acetone producers in the US include Dow Phenol, Georgia Gulf, Honeywell, INEOS Phenol, SABIC Innovative Plastics and Shell Chemical.

($1 = €0.72)

For more on phenol and acetone visit ICIS chemical intelligence


By: John Dietrich
713-525-2600



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