Corrected: US December cumene contract drops 6% on cheaper feedstocks

09 December 2011 20:35  [Source: ICIS news]

Correction: In the ICIS story headlined "US December cumene contract drops 1% on cheaper feedstocks" dated 9 December, please read the headline as "…6% on cheaper feedstocks" instead of "…1% on cheaper feedstocks".
Please read in the first paragraph …US December cumene contract fell by 6%… instead of …US December cumene contract fell by 1%…. A corrected story follows.

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US December cumene contract fell by 6% because of cheaper costs for feedstocks benzene and propylene, sources confirmed on Friday.

The December contract settled at 43­­–45 cents/lb ($948­–992/tonne, €711­–744/tonne) FOB (free on board), buyers and producers confirmed.

The December settlement represents a fall of 3 cents/lb from the November contract.

Other than cheaper costs for benzene and propylene, weaker demand for cumene also pushed down prices.

Sources said that downstream phenol-acetone plants have been operating at lower rates because of weaker downstream demand and inventory concerns, cutting into demand for cumene.

Cumene demand is expected to bounce back at the start of 2012, sources said, as end-of-the-year taxes are completed and inventories are built up ahead of the possible shutdown of Sunoco’s cumene unit in Philadelphia in 2012.

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

($1 = €0.75)

For more on cumene visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: John Dietrich

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