US total 2011 phenol exports increase 24% year on year

10 February 2012 19:37  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US total phenol exports increased by 24% year on year, according to data obtained from the US International Trade Commission (ITC) on Friday.

Total 2011 exports were 573,471 tonnes, up from 463,007 tonnes in 2010.

Demand for material was strongest during the second and third quarters, as Asian buyers purchased as much available material as they could, leading to strong margins on export product.

Spot prices during that time frame peaked at 88–90 cents/lb ($1,940–1,984/tonne, €1,455–1,488/tonne) FOB (free on board) in mid-May, as assessed by ICIS.

US phenol spot prices ended 2011 at 53–57 cents/lb FOB.

Compared with 2010, the biggest increases in export volumes in the Asian market went to Thailand and South Korea.

Exports to Thailand were 72,789 tonnes in 2011, up from 35,580 tonnes, and exports to South Korea were 141,364 tonnes in 2011, up from 115,667 tonnes.

In Europe, exports to Belgium and the Netherlands moved to 129,634 tonnes in 2011 from 64,801 tonnes a year ago.

December US phenol exports fell by 19%, moving to 52,788 tonnes from 65,438 tonnes for the same month a year ago.

Month on month, however, exports increased by 16% from 45,366 tonnes in November 2011.

Major US phenol producers include Dow Chemical, Georgia Gulf, Honeywell, INEOS Phenol, SABIC Innovative Plastics and Shell Chemical.

($1 = €0.75)

By: John Dietrich

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