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Updated to Q3 2016
US cumene contract prices gained 9-10 cents/lb ($198-220/tonne) during the third quarter, on higher feedstock costs and steady margins.
Benzene prices gained 6.5 cents/lb during the quarter, while refinery-grade propylene (RGP) prices gained 10.0-11.0 cents/lb.
Cumene operating rates were mostly steady, as higher benzene also boosted margins of phenol, the key downstream product of cumene.
However, margins on phenol remain thin, as do margins for co-product acetone, especially after the surge in RGP. This pushed phenol/acetone producers to keep operating rates steady, even amidst tight acetone, limiting demand for extra cumene.
Cumene demand from the gasoline sector was also described as soft, even as gasoline consumption was robust during the third quarter. Other chemicals such as benzene were seen as more attractive than cumene for blending purposes.
Overall cumene supply was balanced throughout Q3, but operating rates could increase as needed if downstream demand spiked, market participants said.
ICIS provides pricing information, news and analysis for all major petrochemical and chemical markets, including Epoxy resins.
We offer unbiased and independent price reporting, with our price assessments being widely quoted as benchmarks in contracts.
Our information is collected from market participants by our global network of reporters, delivering unrivalled coverage of established and emerging markets, including China and Asia.
ICIS price assessments are based on information gathered from a wide cross section of the market, comprising consumers, producers, traders and distributors. Confirmed deals, verified by both buyer and seller, provide the foundation of our price assessments, giving you a robust reference for your negotiations.
ICIS collects pricing data on a wide range of chemical, energy and fertilizer products, including Epoxy resins. Our extensive experience in price reporting means we can offer you access to historical data dating back more than 20 years for certain commodities.
Our time series of pricing data enables you to build and model trends, to get a view of where markets might be heading. The data service includes charting functionality, allowing you to chart and download multiple data series for manipulation in your own internal models. You can also export data to Excel via the ICIS dashboard service.
ICIS price assessments are based on information gathered from a wide cross-section of the market, comprising consumers, producers, traders and distributors from more than 250 reporters world-wide. Confirmed deals, verified by both buyer and seller, provide the foundation of our price assessments.
Our in-depth market knowledge drives our specialist focus, as we recognise the importance of individual market dynamics and not a one-size-fits-all approach.
Over 25 years of reporting on key chemicals markets, including Epoxy resins, has brought global recognition of our methodology as being unbiased, authoritative and rigorous in preserving our editorial integrity. Our global network of reporters in Houston, London, Singapore, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Mumbai, Perth and Moscow ensures unrivalled coverage of established and emerging markets.