AFPM ’13: Acetone market stronger than phenol -- producer

24 March 2013 21:01  [Source: ICIS news]

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (ICIS)--The global acetone market has overtaken the phenol market, a phenol-acetone producer said on Sunday on the sidelines of the International Petrochemical Conference (IPC).

“We’ve reached the bizarre point where people are making more phenol so that they have the acetone to sell,” the producer said. “It’s not healthy.”

Phenol is produced at a 2-to-1 ratio to acetone, and it has been the stronger product.

However, high global benzene prices and sagging demand for phenol derivatives has weakened the market considerably, especially in regards to premiums over feedstock costs.

Meanwhile, strong demand for methyl methacrylate (MMA) and tight supply as a result of the low operating rates at phenol-acetone plants has made acetone the stronger product.

“Which of the two is stronger flip-flops at the moment,” a trader said, “but who ever thought acetone would be stronger?

Major US phenol-acetone producers include Axxiall, Dow Chemical, Haverhill Chemical, Honeywell, INEOS Phenol, SABIC Innovative Plastics and Shell Chemical.

Hosted by the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, the IPC continues through Tuesday.

($1 = €0.77)


By: John Dietrich
713-525-2600



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