Asian Phenol/Acetone Chemical Industry – Prices stable amid demand lull in China

Chemical Industry

PHENOL Chemical Industry: Asian phenol prices were assessed stable week on week at $1,010/mt CFR China, $1,040/mt CFR Southeast Asia and $1,050/mt CFR India Thursday. China domestic prices were heard stable to slightly weaker to be assessed at Yuan 7,700/mt, equating to $962.60/mt on an import parity basis. One buyer indicated interest on a CFR China basis at $980/mt, similar to the week before. Another end-user said demand in China remained sluggish due to lowered operating rates and safety checks at downstream plants in east China following plant explosions in the region in recent weeks. In Taiwan, Formosa Chemicals and Fibre Corp. has delayed the restart of its phenol/acetone plant at Mailiao, possibly to next week, Chemical Industry sources said. It was not immediately clear why the restart was postponed; it had been due to restart this week, sources said. The plant, which can produce 400,000 mt/year of phenol and 250,000 mt/year of acetone, has been shut for about 40 days of scheduled maintenance.

ACETONE Chemical Industry: Acetone prices were also largely stable this week, with CFR China assessed at $380/mt and CFR Southeast Asia at $460/mt. Domestic prices in China were assessed unchanged on the week at Yuan 2,925/mt, equating to $365.70/mt on an import parity basis. Prices on a CFR Southeast Asia basis were heard negotiated around $440-$500/mt, with the Vietnamese import market priced at the lower end of that range, according to Chemical Industry sources. CFR Southeast Asia was assessed unchanged on the week at $460/mt. Some tradable indications for CFR India were heard as low as $330/mt, but a majority of market sources polled pegged the price around $360-$370/mt. The CFR India Chemical Industry was assessed down $25/mt on the week at $365/mt. Upstream, propylene was assessed at $865/mt FOB Korea Thursday, unchanged on week.

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