Rising Upstream Prices and Supply constraints Drive Phenol Prices on the Higher End in April 2024
Rising Upstream Prices and Supply constraints Drive Phenol Prices on the Higher End in April 2024

Rising Upstream Prices and Supply constraints Drive Phenol Prices on the Higher End in April 2024

  • 19-Apr-2024 3:54 PM
  • Journalist: Jai Sen

Hamburg, (Germany): Phenol prices have been climbing steadily across regional markets since the onset of the second quarter of 2024. This uptrend is primarily attributed to the escalating prices of upstream crude oil, which have directly impacted the price realizations of Phenol. Moreover, the European manufacturing sector is grappling with reduced activity, as a significant number of manufacturers have scaled back operations in response to persistent inflationary pressures. This reduction in manufacturing has intensified supply-side pressure, further driving up Phenol prices.

The ChemAnalyst database has shown that the prices of Phenol have demonstrated an increment of USD 30 per ton in the domestic market of Germany on the week ending 12th April. The recent surge in upstream Benzene prices, along with the bullish trend in Crude Oil prices, has resulted in higher manufacturing costs for Phenol. To protect their margins, market players have been maintaining Phenol prices at higher levels.

Furthermore, Haldia Petrochemicals Limited (HPL) is planning a significant investment in an oil-to-chemical project worth $10 billion. HPL currently operates a 1 million metric tons per year (tpy) petrochemical plant in eastern India and is also in the process of constructing the country's largest integrated Phenol project at Haldia. This move indicates HPL's commitment to expanding its presence in the petrochemical sector and aligning with India's growing demand for chemicals and petrochemical products. The new project is expected to further strengthen HPL's position in the market and contribute to the country's petrochemical industry's growth.

On the other hand, in India, Market sources have reported that Hindustan Organic Chemicals has announced the shutdown of its Phenol plant from 10th April. The plant, which produces Phenol and Acetone, will undergo maintenance activities, including the change of catalysts. The shutdown is scheduled to last until 20th May, during which the plant will not be operational. This maintenance period is part of the company's annual maintenance schedule to ensure the efficient and safe operation of the plant. The shutdown is expected to impact the supply of Phenol and Acetone in the market during this period. 

According to the pricing intelligence of ChemAnalyst, the prices of Phenol are likely to remain at the higher end across the regional markets. In Asian markets, the rise in demand from the downstream, industries are likely to be a main driver in the upward price trend. In addition, the bullish upstream Crude Oil prices are also likely to fuel the market growth of Phenol. Moreover, the European market might witness limited supplies amid lower production and bullish upstream prices which could drive the upward price movements for Phenol in the forthcoming weeks.

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