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 Q1 2019
Phenol supply in Q1 is expected to be ample after plants in China restarted following maintenance. Although turnarounds are expected outside of China, supply is estimated to be ample based on forecast demand.
Phenol demand in Q1 is likely to be subdued ahead of the Lunar New Year in early February. Although some re-stocking activity is likely following the festivities, recent volatile price movements in upstream benzene and propylene are likely to keep players to the sidelines.
Europe phenol supply should grow in Q1 after INEOS Phenol lifted its force majeure from Antwerp and Gladbeck in December. The Swiss-headquartered seller declared the force majeure at the 650,000 tonne/year Gladbeck and 680,000 tonne/year Antwerp units in October. However, co-product acetone supply will also be crucial.
Weak global macroeconomic conditions at the end of Q4 led market participants to suggest that European phenol demand could fall in the first few months of 2019. Not all participants were able to secure the volumes they require for 2019.
US phenol supply is expected to remain sufficient to meet demand in the first quarter of 2019. Production issues have resolved. Market sentiment is that producers may reduce operating rates despite strong demand due to losses associated with co-product acetone. Supply levels will largely be affected by how acetone margins weigh on overall margins.
US phenol demand is expected to remain strong in the first quarter of 2019 both domestically and in export markets. However, export margins are under some pressure on bearish sentiment in other regions. Downstream polycarbonate (PC) markets are particularly sluggish in Asia. Epoxy and phenolic resins demand should remain strong barring an economic downturn.
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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