US phenol demand growth forecast to be stronger than acetone

28 January 2014 17:23 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Speaking at the 2nd ICIS Pan-American Phenol and Acetone conference on Tuesday, Karl Bartholomew shared forecasts that showed better US demand growth for phenol than for acetone.

“Phenol has a pretty good sensitivity to overall growth trends in the economy”, said Bartholomew, vice president, Americas, at ICIS Consulting.

The numbers come from the ICIS Consulting Global Supply & Demand Database. They show for phenol a 1% forecast growth in demand from 2015-2025 versus a growth in acetone demand of 0.3% for the same period.

However Bartholomew emphasised that the projections were long-term.

“Phenol should see some steady growth, but that’s the long-term picture… about today, we see a lot of short-term fluctuations in the market”.

The current situation sees acetone demand outstripping phenol, with phenol demand falling 0.8% from 2005-2010 and acetone demand stable over the same period. The lower phenol growth has led to moderated operating rates for phenol and shortages of co-product acetone.

The 2nd ICIS Pan-American Phenol and Acetone conference runs through Wednesday in Houston.

By Rhian O'Connor