US November cumene contract price falls 13% on feedstocks

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.

With feedstocks benzene and propylene falling in November, savings were passed down the line to cumene buyers, most of which are involved in phenol-acetone production.

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)

For more on cumene visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: John Dietrich

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