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Updated to Q1 2021
Supply fell amid turnarounds by Thailand’s PTT Phenol, Taiwan’s Nan Ya Plastics and Changchun Petrochemical. Spot supply also saw significant constraints amid unprecedented plant shutdowns in Europe and the US, particularly for Hexion’s BPA plants. This led to even tighter spot supply in the Asian market as the arbitrage window opened between Asia and the western markets, although shipping concerns have tempered demand from Europe and the US somewhat.
Demand strengthened with epoxy resins producers replenishing their inventories in order to prepare for the seasonally bullish Q2. Demand from the PC sector, however, was tepid due to poor margins, which prevented PC makers from being able to accept sustained price increases. Many PC producers said that they are relying on contract cargoes instead.
Supply became critically short for prompt material during Q1, due to Hexion’s force majeure, Asian import disruption – heightened by the Suez Canal blockage – and continued derivative demand strength.
Buying activity remained elevated through Q1, buoyed by derivative epoxy and polycarbonate market strength, along with supply security concerns. Asian import disruption also led to greater domestic sourcing.
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