US June phenol exports sink 34% year on year on high prices

10 August 2012 18:00  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US June phenol exports fell by 34% year on year, according to data released on Friday by the US International Trade Commission (ITC).

US June phenol exports were 33,423 tonnes, down from 50,710 tonnes for the same month a year ago.

The biggest reason for the fall was the premium on US material compared with Asian product. Asia is typically the biggest buyer of US phenol.

US spot prices for June were at an average of 62 cents/lb ($1,367/tonne, €1,107/tonne) on an FOB (free on board) basis, as assessed by ICIS.

Asian spot prices were at an average of 59 cents/lb on a CFR (cost & freight) basis, as assessed by ICIS.

A key reason for the premium on US material was the spike in feedstock benzene values, as well as weak demand from the Asian market.

Additionally, US availability of spot phenol was tight because weak demand in the previous months pushed US producers to lower their operating rates and keep them low.

Month on month, US phenol exports fell by 23% from 43,651 tonnes in May 2012.

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

($1 = €0.81)

By: John Dietrich

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