US 2012 phenol exports fall 3.1% year on year on softer demand

11 February 2013 21:02  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)—US 2012 phenol exports fell by 3.1% year on year, according to data released by the US International Trade Commission (ITC) on Monday.

According to the ITC, US 2012 phenol exports totaled 555,484 tonnes, down from 573,471 tonnes in 2011.

The biggest reason for the decline was softer demand, mostly from Asia.

More than 400,000 tonnes/year of phenol capacity was brought online in Asia in 2012, and demand in the region softened because of weak economic conditions.

Additionally, US phenol producers were saddled with record-high feedstock benzene costs in November and December, making their material uncompetitive.

December 2012 phenol exports fell by 11% year on year, to 46,779 tonnes from 52,788 tonnes.

Month on month, export volumes increased by 46% from 32,096 tonnes in November 2012.

Currently, US phenol spot prices are assessed by ICIS at 66-70 cents/lb ($1,455-1,543/tonne) on an FOB (free on board) basis.

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

By: John Dietrich

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