European Phenol Prices Turn Bullish, Contrary to Stagnancy in Asia in Mid-Q1
European Phenol Prices Turn Bullish, Contrary to Stagnancy in Asia in Mid-Q1

European Phenol Prices Turn Bullish, Contrary to Stagnancy in Asia in Mid-Q1

  • 15-Feb-2024 2:36 PM
  • Journalist: Patrick Knight

Hamburg, Germany: The prices of Phenol have been constantly rising in the domestic market of Germany since the start of February 2024. The rising prices of upstream raw materials have been increasing the manufacturing costs of Phenol. As a result, successive price increments have been observed in the price realizations of Phenol. In addition to increased raw material prices, the lower operating rates of manufacturing firms in the last months have also exerted supply-side pressures.

The ChemAnalyst database has demonstrated that Phenol prices in Germany have risen by approximately USD 70 per ton since the start of the month. Increasing raw material costs have resulted in successive price rises for Phenol. Additionally, this reduction in stocks was already anticipated by the market, which resulted in an increase in prices. The unexpected decline in production continued in February, causing a decrease in both production and stocks for this month. However, there have been no major developments in demand from the construction sector. Additionally, higher borrowing costs and uncertainties regarding monetary policies are expected to exert further downward pressure on Phenol demand.

On the other hand, in China, Phenol prices have steadied due to the majority of manufacturing firms shutting down for the Spring Festival Holidays. Market sources note that INEOS Phenol's Shanghai plant is undergoing maintenance shutdown until February 19, 2024. The closure of market operations has led manufacturers to refrain from altering Phenol prices. On the demand side, no significant improvement has been observed.

Meanwhile, attacks by Houthi militants on commercial vessels in the Red Sea have contributed to higher crude oil prices. These attacks have forced shipments to take longer and more expensive routes, leading to bullish crude oil prices. The ongoing assaults by Iranian-backed Houthi militants in the Red Sea have disrupted shipping through the Suez Canal, a crucial passage handling 12% of global container traffic. These disruptions pose a new threat to the European economy and could potentially disrupt central banks' plans to reduce interest rates.

According to the pricing intelligence of ChemAnalyst, Phenol prices are expected to remain strong across European markets. Additionally, disruptions in the transportation of goods from Asia to Europe are likely to reduce the supply of economic imports from Asia. This situation may further benefit European manufacturers by allowing them to adjust their prices upward in the coming weeks. Conversely, demand for Phenol in the Chinese market is expected to remain weak, as restocking activities were mostly completed ahead of the Spring Festival Holidays.

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