US September cumene contract higher on benzene

24 September 2013 22:08  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US cumene contract range for September settled up by 2 cents/lb ($44/tonne, €33/tonne) from August on sharply higher September benzene, sources confirmed on Tuesday.

The increase took the cumene contract to a new contract range of 64-65 cents/lb, as assessed by ICIS, despite ample supply and continued soft downstream phenol demand.

The September benzene contract previously increased by 23 cents/gal from August, stemming from higher benzene spot prices ahead of planned maintenance outages.

However, current benzene spot prices are slightly below the September contract of $4.40/gal, which may portend a slight decline in the October benzene contract.

Feedstock refinery-grade propylene (RGP) was being seen weaker by 2-3 cents/lb from one month ago.

Phenol continued weak and flat, with domestic production rates still being heard in the range of 65-70%.

In the US truck acetone market, values continued largely steady from the first half of the month, sources said during the week.

Stable conditions and the absence of truck price-hike initiatives suggest September acetone prices will roll over from August, though some unconfirmed weakness at the bottom of the posted truck range was heard.

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

($1 = €0.74)

By: Larry Terry
1 713 525 2653

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