09 September 2013 21:39 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US phenol exports for July were down by 28% year on year, according to the US International Trade Commission (ITC), as market participants “endured” ongoing soft conditions, a source said on Monday.
Phenol export volumes shrank to 6,430 tonnes in July from 8,911 tonnes one year earlier as the US phenol market continued to see little or no demand from Asia, an export market upon which it had come to depend.
Consequently, phenol operating rates have languished in a range of 65-70%.
Canada was the largest recipient of phenol, but took 2,231 tonnes this July versus 5,190 tonnes one year ago. Mexico took 23.6% less phenol in July than it did at the same time last year, yet nearly doubled the 676 tonnes sent to China, where demand has been minimal.
Month on month, July exports actually increased marginally.
Despite the reduced production, downstream demand has not been strong enough to keep supply from continuing to lengthen, though the ITC data did indicate some increased import levels from Canada, where July import volumes increased by 35% to 8,473 tonnes from 6,262 tonnes in July 2012.
Major US phenol producers include Axiall, Dow Chemical, Haverhill Chemical, Honeywell, INEOS Phenol, SABIC Innovative Plastics and Shell Chemical.
($1= €0. 76)
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