US January cumene set to increase by 11% on higher benzene

04 January 2012 18:46  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US January cumene contract prices are expected to increase by 11% from December on more expensive feedstock, sources said on Wednesday.

A buyer said it expects to see the contract price move to 48–50 cents/lb ($1,058–1,102/tonne, €815–849/tonne) FOB (free on board), up by 5 cents/lb from December’s 43–45 cents/lb level, as assessed by ICIS.

The biggest impetus for the increase is the jump in feedstock benzene contract prices, which rose by 70 cents/gal in January.

The other key cumene feedstock, propylene, is holding at prices less than 40 cents/lb.

Cumene supply is expected to tighten on the potential shutdown of Sunoco’s 545,000 tonne/year cumene unit in Philadelphia, but demand is also lower as phenol-acetone production has slowed on economic concerns and weaker downstream demand.

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

($1 = €0.77)

For more on cumene visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: John Dietrich

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