08 April 2013 23:03 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US phenol exports for February fell by 48% from the same month one year ago, according to data released by the US International Trade Commission (ITC) on Monday.
Exports decreased to 26,772 tonnes from 51,426 tonnes in February 2012. The largest volume reduction was to Thailand, dropping by nearly two thirds to 4,202 tonnes in February from 13,721 tonnes one year ago.
The decline stemmed largely from reduced domestic phenol production on poor demand attributed mostly to increased capacity in Asia. With the export market diminished, US producers reduced phenol operating rates to the low-70% level, sources said.
Month on month, February phenol imports fell to 20 tonnes from January’s 36 tonnes. Year over year, the February decline was more significant at 67%, the ITC said, and nearly all of the product came from Norway.
US March prices for phenol were 88.54-92.99 cents/lb ($1,952-2,050/tonne), as assessed by ICIS.
Major US phenol-acetone producers include Axiall, Dow Chemical, Haverhill Chemical, Honeywell, INEOS Phenol, SABIC Innovative Plastics and Shell Chemical.
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