Asia phenol/acetone prices were stable to slightly lower over the week leading up to Thursday, amid thinning demand from the region. While upstream markets had strengthened week on week, cost pressure provided little support to prices of phenol and acetone. FOB Korea benzene was assessed up $20.84/mt week on week at $652.17/mt Thursday, while propylene, another feedstock for phenol/acetone, was assessed unchanged over the same period at $865/mt FOB Korea.
Phenol: Amid bearishness in the domestic East China market, CFR China phenol was assessed down $10/mt from the previous week at $1,000/mt, with tradable indications heard in the range of $950-$1,000/mt. “Chinese end-users will likely not buy material above $1,000/mt,” a market participant said, adding that inventory pressure was still seen in the market, with consumption heard slow. A market source said that traders continued to hold on to stock, in expectation that demand could recover in May. However, sentiment was mixed on whether demand would recover moving forward. Prices in the CFR India market were heard stable week on week, and assessed at tradable indications at $1,050/mt. Acetone: CFR China acetone was assessed down $30/mt on the week at $350/mt, based on tradable indications heard at the level, while CFR India was assessed unchanged on the week at $365/mt. CFR India was heard workable at $360-370/mt.