US July cumene softens by 2.5 cents/lb on weaker feedstock

26 July 2013 17:56  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US cumene contract range for July weakened on lower July benzene values, sources confirmed on Friday.

The drop averaged 2.5 cents/lb ($55/tonne, €41/tonne), taking the July range to 60-61 cents/lb, as assessed by ICIS.

Prices fell in line with July benzene, which softened early in the month to $4.07/gal for July, down by 35 cents/gal from June.

Cumene remains long because of weak demand for phenol – especially from the downstream bisphenol-A (BPA) and polycarbonate (PC) market segments.

Purchases of phenolic resins still appear to be down during what is typically a stronger season despite mixed but mostly positive news from the US housing market.

Nor has there been appreciable hurricane-inventory build, so far, a source indicated, adding that phenol production rates continue to be heard averaging 65-70%.

Major US cumene producers include Citgo, Flint Hills Resources, Georgia Gulf, Marathon, Philadelphia Energy Solutions and Shell Chemical.

($1 = €0.75)

By: Larry Terry
1 713 525 2653

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