04 November 2011 15:36 [Source: ICIS news]
November phenol settled on a pre-discounted basis at €1,204–1,244/tonne ($1,672–1,728/tonne) FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe).
In relation to the phenol settlement, a producer said: “Phenol is down with benzene as usual. Demand has definitely slowed by more than we expected.”
A second producer, which also confirmed that its November phenol contract price has dropped by €41/tonne, described demand as simply “not there”.
It said: “I expect to see further weakness, not because inventories are high, but [because] demand is not there.”
Demand across the phenol derivative chain has decreased as downstream buyers attempt to run their facilities with the lowest inventories possible because of concerns about eurozone and global economic instability.
These factors are making it increasingly difficult for buyers and sellers to plan.
One buyer said it was tough to forecast beyond a week.
“We are in the dark, because our customers are in the dark,” the buyer said.
Phenol contracts in Europe are 100% linked to feedstock benzene, with the supply-and-demand dynamics of the market having no influence over the outcome of the contract price.
However, market fundamentals do have an impact on the phenol spot market, although it only accounts for a small percentage of the phenol market.
Phenolic resin demand remains at a steady level and one resin producer said that October had proved its strongest month in terms of demand since 2008.
“It’s not clear why October was so good. Maybe it’s down to the market restructuring,” the producer said.
($1 = €0.72)
For more on phenol visit ICIS chemical intelligence
Please visit the complete ICIS plants and projects database
For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.
Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.
|ICIS news FREE TRIAL|
|Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index|
Asian Chemical Connections