Europe June phenol contract follows benzene down €11/tonne

07 June 2013 23:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--The European June phenol contract price has moved down €11/tonne ($14/tonne), in line with the same amount of decrease in the value of major feedstock benzene, sources said on Friday.

The contract settled on a pre-discounted basis at €1,609-1,649/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe).

The June benzene contract price was greed at €1,045/tonne FD NWE.

While the settlement was a welcome relief for some in the market, following the surprise €64/tonne jump in the May benzene contract price, a number of buyers expressed their disappointment that the price of benzene still remains at a high level.

“Our demand is not good and benzene is just too high – it is damaging,” said a one major phenol consumer.

A second phenol buyer said: “Benzene didn’t move much, but neither is the phenol market changing much. Downstream in BPA, there are no changes. It’s not getting better here or anywhere.”

Producers also sounded rather downbeat about their phenol demand, with one saying the benzene settlement would make no difference either way in terms of demand.

“There is no change in phenol it’s boring and benzene will not change the [phenol] market.”

Looking back at its phenol demand over the past six months, a major phenol producer said: “Phenol demand is much worse than the first half of last year.

“It’s demand and it’s not just demand in Europe. It’s everywhere.”

($1 = €0.76)

By: Julia Meehan
+44 20 8652 3214

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