For those looking to keep abreast of the global Phenol market, our independent, unbiased pricing information, news and market analysis is an invaluable resource.
Whether you buy or sell Phenol or related products, you need to know about the prices and the factors driving the prices in the global Phenol market as they happen. Our network of price reporters throughout Asia, Europe and the US provide key local insights. We collate this intelligence into daily and weekly price reports, ensuring you have the up-to-date information you need at all times.
Updated to Q4 2018
Asia phenol supply is expected to be long in the fourth quarter. Turnarounds in China will largely wrap up by November. US cargoes are likely unavailable due to the 25% import duty from the trade war with China. However, they could be channelled to other parts of northeast Asia, such as Taiwan and South Korea.
Asia phenol demand is expected to be higher in the fourth quarter compared with the third. Summer lull ends, boosting higher production and downstream plywood consumption. The environmental checks by government bodies at downstream factories are expected to dwindle by the fourth quarter. Buying activities for year-end and start of 2019 are set to commence.
Phenol supply in Europe will tighten further with planned maintenance in the market. Spanish seller CEPSA has a turnaround, for instance, at its Huelva plant in October. Co-product acetone length will also be of importance in future months as sources previously said that operating rates were lowered to balance both markets.
Lack of European phenol will remain the largest talking point in the fourth quarter as opposed to how consumption will fare. In terms of exports, any participant looking at sending material abroad will keep an eye on shifting trade patterns. Phenol has become embroiled in Chinese tariffs in the country’s trade war with the US.
Supply should remain balanced-to-tight in the fourth quarter. Planned turnarounds during the quarter are not expected to impact the supply and demand balance. Adder increase discussions will continue in the fourth quarter and first quarter of 2019 as phenol producers continue to be pressured to compensate for losses on co-product acetone.
Demand is expected to remain strong. Asian consumption is robust in the winter, so exports will continue to be attractive for US phenol. The US/China trade war, however, may temper some of that demand as tariffs will be applied to US material or may result in US material being offered at lower prices.
We offer the following regional Phenol analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the Phenol marketplace.
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The primary chemical intermediates and derivatives of phenol include phenolic resin, bisphenol-A (BPA), caprolactam, adipic acid and plasticiser.
Phenol occurs as colourless to yellow crystals, with a characteristic carbolic odour which turns pink on exposure to light and air. It is strongly hydroscopic, liquefying in moist air. It is moderately dissolvable in water, but very soluble in ether, methyl and ethyl alcohol, carbon tetrachloride, acetic acid, glycerol, benzene and chlorinated hydrocarbons. The solution in water is a weak acid.
The main chemical intermediates and derivatives of phenol are bisphenol-A (BPA) used to make polycarbonate (PC) and epoxy resins, phenolic resins, caprolactam, alkylphenols, aniline and adipic acid. The largest market for phenol is BPA followed by phenolic resins.
Cumene-based technology is the dominant process to produce phenol. Here, benzene and propylene are reacted to form cumene, which is oxidised to the hydroperoxide, followed by acid-catalysed cleavage to yield phenol and acetone.
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