17 November 2011 16:55 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US November cumene contract prices fell by 13% from October levels on cheaper feedstocks and softer demand, sources said on Thursday.
Buyers and sellers said that US November cumene contract prices settled between 46–48 cents/lb ($1,014–1,058, €750-783/tonne) FOB (free on board), down by 7 cents/lb from the October contract, as assessed by ICIS.
The US November benzene contract fell by 18 cents/gal from October, and spot prices for refinery-grade propylene (RGP) have dropped by 0.5-2.5 cents/lb in the past four weeks.
Also, demand for cumene has softened from the phenol-acetone market, as those buyers are looking to curb inventories ahead of end-of-the-year taxes and long supply.
“We saw that weakness last month and we’re seeing it this month,” a cumene producer said. “However, demand should start up like a light switch on January 1st.”
Major US producers of cumene include CITGO, Flint Hills Resources, Georgia Gulf, Marathon Petroleum, Shell Chemical and Sunoco.
($1 = €0.74)
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