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 Q2 2020
Supply tightened. Saudi Arabia’s Petro Rabigh was shut from late-February to mid-June. Mitsui Phenol Singapore shut from March to April. India’s Deepak Phenolics was shut during the country’s lockdown from March to April. South Korea’s Kumho P&B line 2 was shut in April; line 4 had a week of unscheduled maintenance in April. China’s Chang Chun Petrochemical was shut from late May. Japan’s Mitsubishi Chemicals and Osaka-based Mitsui Chemicals were shut for most of Q2.
Demand was strong, with downstream sectors including major derivative BPA and PC seeing healthy performance. Capro margins were not as strong as other fellow derivatives although they did see an uptrend too. Procurement activities were rampant amid the slew of turnarounds in Q2. The average production rate in China stood at only 64% in late June.
Supply was ample in Q2 despite further reductions in output from European producers and less imports, amid slumping demand. The coronavirus pandemic also led producers Borealis and INEOS to postpone plant maintenance.
Demand for phenol was depressed further in Q2, as the coronavirus pandemic exacerbated a severe slowdown in the automotive sector. Construction-related demand provided some respite. Downstream caprolactam demand was especially hard hit. Downstream demand for BPA was somewhat less impacted as demand for clear plastic PC sheets improved and less material was imported.
US phenol supply and demand were balanced. In general, demand hit a bottom, as it was uneven across multiple segments during the pandemic. While operating rates were cut in response, it was limited by higher demand and prices for co-product acetone. Higher volumes were exported in April and May, especially to Asia, at low adders. But exports appeared to be slowing down as Q2 drew to a close.
Demand fell as auto production and non-essential construction shut down during April and May due to the pandemic. Meanwhile, demand from the oil and gas sector dropped due to a decline in drilling activity, while demand from the medical sector received a boost. June did see economic activity resume as restrictions were lifted, with production in the auto and construction sectors slowly ramping back up.
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.
Safeguard your future with the opportunity to discuss your expectations and learn from industry experts at The ICIS 2020 World Phenol-Acetone Conference, a biennial event in the calendar of professionals across the globe. You can get face-to-face time with existing suppliers or explore new business opportunities to initiate future connections.
As a global event, a worldwide perspective is reflected throughout agenda topics, speakers and attendees. With content covering regional trends and their impact globally, you can expect to gain insight on a variety of relevant topics