US 2012 phenol production falls 19% on softer demand

31 January 2013 19:44  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US 2012 phenol production fell by 19% year on year, according to data released by the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) on Thursday.

US 2012 phenol production totalled 3.31bn lb (1.50m tonnes), down from 2011 production of 4.08bn lb.

Sources attributed the fall in production to weaker demand, both from domestic and foreign customers.

Sales in the export market fell more steeply, owing to high feedstock benzene costs, making US phenol uncompetitive in the Asian market.

Additionally, increased capacity in Asia led to less demand for imported material.

Domestically, phenol demand in the US was softer but expected to rebound slightly on improving construction activity.

In the fourth quarter, US phenol production fell by 15% year on year to 698.2m lb from 817.1m lb.

Quarter on quarter, US phenol production fell by 9.0% from third-quarter production of 767.0m lb.

The data for the AFPM came from Dow Chemical, INEOS Phenol, Georgia Gulf and Shell Chemical.

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