Phenol Prices in India

Phenol: Phenol prices noticed at Rs 98-99/kg down Rs 2/kg week on week

Phenol: Phenol prices noticed at Rs 98-99/kg down Rs 2/kg week on week and expected stable to ±2/kg in coming days as phenol prices showing fluctuations on day to day basis. “Phenol imported prices and domestics prices changing on a very frequent basis these days but if we check the booking level it went up week on week and hence the domestic suppliers adjust their prices on import parity.”- source.

Current booking of phenol noticed at $1240/mt CFR India up $20/mt week on week.

Domestic producers phenol prices:

Deepak phenolics- Rs 97/kg down Rs 8/kg from previous assessments. HOCL Rs 97.75 down Rs 3.25/kg from last assessments. SI group – NA last was Rs 108/kg. CFR China phenol was assessed up $40/mt week on week to $1,110/mt amid rising domestic prices and also firmer benzene. Benzene was assessed at $612.33/mt on  Friday, up $4/mt week on week, and it rose to a year-to-date high of $623.33/mt FOB Korea on  Friday. Traders said the international spot market was tight on supply ahead of some turnarounds and an offer heard at $1,250/mt CFR China was described as “reasonable” by another trader. However, an end-user said it was too high and gave their buy idea at $1,020-$1,030/mt CFR China. Domestic phenol prices in China rose week on week by about Yuan 200/mt to Yuan 8,850/mt on  Friday, or similar to $1,080/mt on an import parity basis. A domestic producer in China said demand in China was going “well” after the Lunar New Year holidays. Prices in India was also heard increasing with trade sources there pegging CFR India prices at $1,220-$1,250/mt. The CFR India price was assessed up $20/mt to $1,220/mt.

toluene price updates
toluene price updates

Spot market off to quiet start amid thin discussions

– Buyers look to May cargoes

– Asian markers up $11.50/mt on day

The European styrene market started the week on a quiet note amid thin discussions Tuesday. S&P Global   assessed styrene for loading 5-30 days forward at $1,002/mt FOB ARA Tuesday, up $3.50/mt on the day. Bids in the European market were heard at $995/mt for March cargoes while offers were heard at $1,040 /mt for April cargoes. Buyers and sellers looked to May cargoes ahead of the turnaround season in the second quarter. No deals were heard concluded. Buying interest faded Tuesday as sources described the day as “quiet” and “dull”. Further upstream, fundamentals in the benzene market were unchanged, with demand generally soft despite recent price increases. “Prices are a little bit higher but no one wants to take [benzene],” the source said. The styrene-benzene spread was last seen at $389/mt Tuesday, remaining in healthy territory, well above the breakeven level of $250/mt. In Asia, styrene rose $11.50/mt from Tuesday to $1,062.50/mt CFR China and $1,022.50/mt FOB Korea Tuesday. While China is facing a continuous stock build, the turnaround season in other Asian countries has tightened supply. According to market sources, styrene inventory in east China stood at 312,500 mt last Tuesday.

RATIONALE:

S&P Global   assessed styrene for loading 5-30 days forward at $1,002/mt FOB ARA Tuesday, up $3.50/mt on the day. February was assessed at $979/mt, unchanged on the day, with no disproving indications. March was assessed at $1,009/mt, also unchanged on the day, within the bid-offer range heard at $995-1,010/mt.

Hanwha Chemical to shut 2-EH unit from Mar 1

The 2-ethyl hexanol market gained this week as tighter spot supply lent firmer support to the spot market. Two major 2-ethyl hexanol producers in Asia had shut or were planning to shut down their plants for turnaround. Taiwan’s Nan Ya Plastics will restart its 2-ethyl hexanol unit by March 1, after it was shut down unexpectedly due to a technical issue two days ago, a company source said Friday. The 2-EH unit is located at Mailiao and has a production capacity of 205,000 mt/yr. “We had to shut down the 2-EH unit due to technical issues, and we are aiming to restart the plant by March 1,” said a company source. The source added that “the production outage due to this unexpected shutdown will cost us around 10,000 mt of 2-EH.” “We have no 2-EH to offer after Friday, as we need the existing 2-EH stockpiles for our DOP production,” said the company source at Nan Ya Plastics, the largest 2-EH producer in Taiwan. Meanwhile, South Korea’s Hanwha Chemical will shut its 120,000 mt/year 2-ethyl hexanol unit at Yeosu from March 1 for a 31-day planned maintenance, a company source said Friday. “We are going to shut down our 2-EH plant on March 1 and restart around April 1,” the company source said. Hanwha Chemical is one of the largest 2-EH producers in South Korea. Industry sources said these shutdowns are expected to push up the 2-EH market. 2-EH was assessed up $10/mt on the week at $1,045/mt CFR China Friday. However, demand for other oxo-alcohol products such as dioctyl phthalate and phthalic anhydride from Chinese buyers remained tepid, and this lead to lower offers and bids, and pulled down the spot market “The Chinese buyers have not come back yet. I think more restocking will come back after they come back from the Lunar New Year next week,” a source said.

RATIONALE:

Dioctyl phthalate was assessed down $15/mt week on week at $1,035/mt CFR China Friday, below a selling indication at $1,040/mt CFR China, and above a buying indication at $1,030/mt CFR China. The CFR Southeast Asia marker was assessed unchanged over the same period at $1,210/mt, based on three spot trades totalling over 500 mt, in the range of $1,200-$1,220/mt CFR SEA. Phthalic anhydride was assessed down $30/mt on week at $870/mt CFR China, below a selling indication heard at $880/mt CFR China. The CFR SEA marker was assessed up $5/mt on week at $970/mt CFR SEA,  based on three spot trades concluded at $965-$980/mt CFR SEA. 2-EH was assessed up $10/mt on the week at $1,045/mt CFR China, below a selling indications heard at $1,050/mt CFR China, and above a buying indication at $1,040/mt CFR China. The Southeast Asia marker was assessed up $10/mt on week at $1,085/mt, on a stronger adjacent market. Normal butanol was assessed unchanged on week at $910/mt CFR China and CFR Southeast Asia on muted trading.

Chemicals-Update-1
Chemicals-Update-1

Asian isomer-grade mixed xylene prices

Asian isomer-grade mixed xylene prices on Wednesday rose by $3/mt to $675/mt FOB Korea, and was up $1/mt at $689/mt CFR Taiwan, amid a rise in downstream paraxylene prices. Bids for March FOB Korea cargoes appeared in the market against no offers, while the CFR Taiwan market remained quiet. A buy idea on CFR Taiwan basis was heard below $650/mt. Indications from the Chinese market also remained low compared to international prices, with the East China ex-tank price around Yuan 5,400/mt, or about $661/mt on an import-parity basis. In downstream markets, PX rose $4/mt day on day to $1,109/mt CFR Taiwan/China.

RATIONALE:

Isomer-MX was assessed up $3/mt day on day at $675/mt FOB Korea and up $1/mt at $689/mt CFR Taiwan on Wednesday. The markers take the average of the third and fourth half-month laycans, currently H1 March and H2 March. No bids or offers were registered during the S&P Global CSG Market on Close assessment process. During the MOC process, March-loading cargo was heard bid at $674/mt FOB Korea. Both H1 and H2-March laycans were assessed at $675/mt FOB Korea, above the bid. No bids or offers were heard during the MOC process on a CFR Taiwan basis. The CFR Taiwan price was assessed $1/mt higher, tracking the FOB Korea marker and rising prices in related markets. The above rationale applies to the following market data codes: PHAUV00 for FOB Korea and PHAUT00 for CFR Taiwan.

Bids/offers/trades

NAPHTHA CARGO CIF NWE MOC deals: One trade reported: LITASCO-GLENCORE CIF NEW Naphtha Cargo min 28,000 mt, at $486/mt for March 1 to March 5 delivery, TQC: Indic 1, Optol plus $2.00. NAPHTHA MOC: OUTSTANDING INTEREST: BIDS: 1) BP Bids CIF NWE Naphtha Cargo 12,500 mt +/- 10%, at $484/mt for March 1 to March 5 delivery, TQC Indic 1; 2) GLENCORE Bids CIF NWE Naphtha Cargo 12,500 mt +/- 10%, at $482/mt for March 1 to March 5 delivery, TQC: Indic 3; 3) GLENCORE Bids CIF NWE Naphtha Cargo min 32,000 mt, at $482/mt for March 1 to March 5 delivery, TQC: Indic 1, Optol plus $2.00; 4) GLENCORE Bids CIF NWE Naphtha Cargo min 28,000 mt, at $486/mt for March 5 to March 9 delivery, TQC: Indic 2, Optol plus $2.00. OFFERS: 1) GUNVOR Offers CIF NWE Naphtha Cargo min 28,000 mt, at $483/mt for February 22 to February 26 delivery, TQC Indic 1, Optol flat; 2) GUNVOR Offers CIF NWE Naphtha Cargo 12,500 mt +/- 10%, at $487/mt for February 27 to March 3 delivery, TQC: Indic 2.

Exclusions:

No market data was excluded from the February 12 assessment process. CSG’ End-of-Day assessments for Northwest Europe Naphtha and related prices can be found on PGA1310. This assessment commentary applies to the following market data codes:

Demand in Europe remains low

European oxo-alcohols spot prices were stable to lower in the week to Tuesday, with sources pointing to still lackluster demand for oxo-alcohols. Demand from the automotive and construction sectors in particular was said to be weak, with one producer saying products such as oxo-alcohols that “end up in these value chains are in lower demand.” However, sources said the 2-ethyl hexanol market saw some support this week from higher US demand. “I got a lot of enquiries from the US, meaning something is happening in the US market, potentially production issues,” a second producer said. “They are seeking quite significant volumes of 2-eh for late February delivery into the US.” However, a third source said that while the arbitrage window to the US is open, “there are still enough volumes [of 2-eh] available in Europe.” S&P Global Csg assessed 2-ethyl hexanol stable on the week at Eur1, 060/mt FD NWE Tuesday, within a Eur1,020-1,120/mt range heard corroborated by several sources. N-butanol and iso-butanol were assessed at Eur960/mt FD NWE and Eur800/mt FD NWE, respectively. Prices for n-butanol hence fell Eur15/mt week on week and were assessed based on a Eur950-990/mt range heard corroborated by several sources and indications of weak demand for solvent applications in the automotive industry. I-butanol was assessed down Eur30/mt week on week, within a range of Eur750-840/mt heard and based on indications of ample availability of product of Russian origin in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp region. Fundamentals on the PA market remained unchanged. Despite some sources saying a large producer on the upstream orthoxylene market had over-committed for contracts, meaning customers had come to the OX spot market for additional volumes, the PA market remained long and prices were unaffected. “[This] could only have an impact if PA producers are getting fewer raw materials,” a fourth source said, adding that he did not think this was the case. “The market is still oversupplied, nothing has changed,” the source said. Csg assessed PA flake stable on the week at Eur940/mt FD NWE, corresponding to a value heard pegged around Eur940/mt in the market.

Bids for Mar support FOB Korea despite

The bullet points and narrative are suspended, while the rationale is published.

FOB Korea benzene was assessed up $11.67/mt from last Friday at $600/mt Friday. The marker takes the average of the third, fourth and fifth half-month laycans, H1 March, H2 March, and H1 April. During the CSG Market on Close assessment process Friday, there were no transparent bids and offers seen. The H1 and H2 March laycans were assessed at $599/mt FOB Korea, between a bid and offer last seen at $598/mt and $603/mt FOB Korea, respectively. The H1 April laycan was assessed at $602/mt FOB Korea, narrowing the March/April spread to minus $3/mt, above a bid last seen at minus $4/mt. The CFR China marker was assessed at $606/mt, up $2/mt from last Friday, tracking the gains in FOB Korea. The East China marker was assessed at Yuan 4,877/mt Friday, unchanged from last Friday, or $614.42/mt on an import parity basis. Exclusions: No market data was excluded from the February 5 assessment process.

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Phenol price went up in India

Imported Data

Asian phenol/acetone prices were stable over the week leading up to Friday. While supply was increasing on the restart of plants in East China, turnarounds were also ongoing. Upstream, benzene was assessed up $13/mt on the week at $569/mt FOB Korea Friday, while propylene, another feedstock for phenol/acetone, was assessed unchanged over the same period at $925/mt FOB Korea Friday.

PHENOL: While spot supply for January and February cargoes was thin Friday, demand was also muted, sources said. Selling indications were heard at $1,050/mt CFR China, but a buyer said Friday that with domestic East China prices at Yuan 8,300-8,400/mt, approximately $970-$980/mt CFR China, buyers were unlikely to meet offer levels which they considered “high.” In the domestic market, however, sellers were optimistic about prices over the year. Phenol producers said that with the start up of multiple polycarbonate plants, demand for bisphenol-A was likely to firm, bringing with it demand for feedstock phenol. However, it was also possible that with growing supply of polycarbonate, prices would fall, resulting in narrowing spreads between polycarbonate and phenol. On the other hand, demand for phenol from other downstream segments such as cyclohexanone and caprolactam was thin, owing to narrow price spreads between feedstock and downstream products. CFR China phenol was assessed unchanged on the week at $1,025/mt, while CFR India phenol was assessed stable over the same period at $1,080/mt.

ACETONE: Losses on acetone production continued to be high, with domestic producers estimating around Yuan 300 lost with every metric ton of acetone produced. Acetone’s is typically used for producing methyl methacrylate, but demand from MMA producers have been weak, sources said. CFR China acetone was assessed unchanged week on week at $425/mt, while CFR India phenol was assessed stable over the same period at $465/mt.

Phenol prices on downtrend in India

Chemical Industry

Phenol prices went down Rs 3/kg to Rs 92-93/kg week on week at Kandla port on high inventory level and slow demand in the domestic market.
Booking level of phenol went down $30/mt to $1230-1240/mt week on week.
Prices expected more soften in coming days on bearish demand in major trading hubs of India.

International Market Updates:

CFR China phenol was assessed down $145/mt on the week at $1,175/mt Friday, above buy indications heard at below $1,000/mt, and at tradeable indications heard at $1,150-1,175/mt CFR China. End-users hailed the price drop as “overdue”, citing earlier price gains as having happened too quickly, and at too large a magnitude. Producers and end-users alike said Friday that prices of phenol is expected to continue falling moving forward, but market expectations differed on the impact of restocking activity for the Lunar New Year. A producer said Friday that CFR China prices would likely rebound closer to the festive season, while end-users said that prices would may stabilize below $1,000/mt CFR China. Despite the plunge in phenol, falls in feedstock benzene since October have left prices at a two-year low earlier this week. Market sources said that the price spread between benzene and phenol were still too high, and with benzene market long, it was likely that phenol prices would fall. Weakness in the downstream bisphenol-A has resulted in lower operating rates at BPA production plants, thereby affecting demand for phenol. Bisphenol-A is an intermediate material in the production of polycarbonate, which was heard at levels of $1,800-1,900/mt CFR China. “The price spread between polycarbonate and phenol is just $600-700/mt,” an end-user said Friday, adding that the narrow price spreads made it difficult for production plants to breakeven. CFR India phenol was assessed down $100/mt on the week at $1,240/mt, where a deal was heard concluded.

Domestic Phenol Prices went down week on week

phenol price updates

Phenol prices showed continues downtrend in the Indian market and down Rs 2/kg from day to day to Rs 120/kg at Ex-Kandla. Phenol prices went on low trend due to poor demand in the domestic market which downward International prices.

“Prices also went down due to piling inventory at major ports of India.”- source.

Current ports prices noticed between Rs 120-121/kg  Booking price assessed between $1420-1425/mt CFR India down $10/mt.

Indian major producers have declined their prices as follows:

  • HOC – Rs 126/kg down by Rs 3/kg as on 15/11/2018
  • Deepak Phenolics- Rs 124/kg down Rs 8/kg as on 30th Oct’18
  • Herdilia- Rs 130/kg down Rs 10/kg as on 29th Oct’18.

International updates:

Sentiment in the phenol market turned bearish in the week to Thursday as feedstock benzene and propylene prices were weakening. Moreover, downstream markets such as polycarbonate and bisphenol-A also saw lukewarm buying interest, “BPA is about $1,300/mt now and if you subtract $300/mt for production costs, phenol prices should be around $1,000/mt CFR Northeast Asia,” a market source said.

CFR China phenol was assessed lower by $50/mt week on week at $1,400/mt, reflecting tradable indications heard at this level. Meanwhile, CFR Southeast Asia prices fell $20/mt to $1,350/mt, amid price declines heard in the other market. In India, tradable indications were heard at $1,500/mt CFR India, though buying interest was thin at this price. The CFR India market was assessed lower by $10/mt at $1,420/mt, in line with general price declines in the adjacent markets.