AFPM ’13: Benzene advantage will drive US-Asia phenol trade

25 March 2013 21:33  [Source: ICIS news]

SAN ANTONIO (ICIS)--The arbitrage window on phenol between the US and Asia will largely be determined by who has the benzene advantage, a trader said on Monday on the sidelines of the International Petrochemical Conference (IPC).

“There is going to be so much phenol in Asia that they will have to move it into the US,” the trader said. “But they will need cost-advantaged product to do it.”

The key to having cost-advantaged phenol will be having cheaper benzene, which the trader said could happen if supply in Asia is longer.

The trader said that neither side has a guarantee in regards to having the benzene advantage, and that new capacity plans in Asia could fall through.

“We think most of the new capacity will get built, but it wouldn’t surprise us to see some of the plans scrapped,” the trader said.

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

($1 = €0.77)

By: John Dietrich

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