02 May 2013 17:44 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--DSM’s declaration of force majeure at its 250,000 tonne/year caprolactam (capro) plant in Geleen, the Netherlands, may or may not impact the European phenol and acetone markets, sources said on Thursday.
A DSM company source said: “We declared FM on capro last Tuesday. We had a fire there that caused some minor damage.”
“We will not produce [caprolactam] for 21 to 28 days - almost one month and there will be an effect on phenol ,” the source added.
A supplier of phenol concurred that the DSM outage will have some impact on the market, but it would take “a few more weeks” to see to what extent.
Elsewhere in the market, sources said it was too soon to say if the DSM situation, coupled with INEOS Phenol’s planned turnaround in Antwerp, Belgium on phenol and acetone, will make either market tight.
A trader of phenol and acetone said that since both markets were so quiet, any further cuts in operating rates would barely be felt in the market.
“Unless there is some good demand coming in May, more cuts in phenol won’t be felt in either market. But let’s wait and see,” said a trader source.
A second trader said: “Further reductions in phenol [production] might happen, but even if acetone gets tighter it will only make a difference if demand is strong and at the moment May is not looking like a good month.”
For every tonne of phenol produced, 0.62 tonnes of acetone is made.
By-product acetone has been tight since the start of the year because of cuts in phenol production, which have been in place since July 2012.
However, there has been no shortage of phenol in the market because poor demand for phenol derivatives, such as bisphenol A (BPA), nylon intermediates and phenolic, all of which are effected by weak macroeconomic conditions.
($1 = €0.76)
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