Quarterly Update on Global Cumene Market
For the Quarter Ending December 2020
Cumene supply remained balanced in the fourth quarter of 2020, pressured under subdued demand from the downstream Acetone and Phenol manufacturers. However, prices showed a significant QoQ rise with escalating crude futures and rising optimism over the news of roll-out of Covid-19 vaccines and an anticipated economic rebound in China and India. An upward pressure on the pricing curve was further supported by raw material pass-through following a net increment observed in feedstocks Benzene and Propylene. Ex-Depot prices in India jumped from USD 1049 per tonne levels in October to USD 1090 per tonne levels in December. Supply remained short in South Korea as LG Chem shut its 400 KTPA Cumene plant after its Yosu cracker complex caught fire early in November.
Production rates showed slight recovery from the spate of seasonal Hurricanes and pandemic-induced lockdowns. Outlook remained hindered due to soft demand for the derivative Acetone while Phenol derivatives awaited the much-needed revival in the key automotive and construction sectors. While demand outlook remained stable for largely the entire quarter, Cumene supplies were largely affected by constraints from the upstream refinery-grade propylene (RGP) and Benzene. Prices reported an uptrend on the back of strong Benzene due to a range of factors, including low imports from South Korea and depressed refinery operating rates. Major US producers of Cumene are CITGO, INEOS Phenol, Marathon and Shell.
As the economic recovery took hold in Europe during Q4, Cumene demand witnessed considerable growth. However, import volumes remained restricted, refraining to show any major movement before the first quarter amid rising fears of extended lockdowns over the new coronavirus variant. Sentiments were risen as the news of vaccine distribution hit the downstream markets. Supply lengthened by the end of the quarter as Borealis declared force majeure at its Phenol and Acetone production site in Finland. With no major turnarounds expected in the Cumene production units during the first half of 2021, the European Cumene market is likely to stay amply supplied in the near term.
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Company-wise installed capacity, production volume and plant operating efficiency is captured directly from manufacturers. Import and Export volume is captured from government sources and demand for Acrylonitrile is calculated considering the production, import, export and inventory-levels on the country and regional level markets.
Acrylonitrile price is correlated with the price trend of crude oil, demand-supply gap, Propylene and with movement across the downstream derivatives such as acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS), styrene-acrylonitrile (SAN) etc.
Basic details and information on financial performance of leading global players in the Acrylonitrile market is presented in a visually captivating manner. Expansion plans and the company’s strategy is also captured to understand the vision and mission of the company to help understand the areas where companies need to focus more.
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Daily updates on industry-specific and product-specific news, exclusive primary-based news capturing plant shutdowns/outages/closures, capacity expansions, operating rates, insights on demand-supply situation, awarding of technology licenses, new product launch and deals specifying mergers and acquisitions, strategic investments and disinvestments, to help players capitalize on market opportunity.
ChemAnalyst gathers information through primary research surveys conducted with various Cumene manufacturers, spread across the domestic and international market, suppliers and dealers/distributors to gain insights into value-chains and demand-supply scenario to assess the market situation. Thorough study of company’s annual reports and secondary sources such as exhaustive search on credible paid databases, including our internal database is done to verify the information. All the collected information is analyzed, evaluated and presented in chronological order to depict a meaningful and clear picture of the concerned market.
Our dedicated team of industry experts comprehensively monitors and analyzes various aspects of the Global Cumene market. The team analyzes various industrial segments, strategic viewpoints and provides an analysis of the industry’s performance in the long run. This would enable our clients in efficiently plan their future investments, mitigate risk, understand the cost dynamics and strike out a balance amidst market volatility.
Critical examination of the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the global supply chains and shift in demand patterns with change in buying behavior of consumers across the globe.
Several ongoing development projects across industries are tracked, followed by the details of major projects in the development stage, which can positively or negatively influence Global Cumene market.
Pricing is captured through exhaustive primary interviews with domestic and international manufacturers, traders and importers and customers on monthly and yearly basis.
Finally, region-specific markets for Cumene are analyzed and region-wise demand pattern is tracked.
Cumene (Isopropyl Benzene) is an aromatic hydrocarbon, possessing a sharp gasoline-like odor. It is an oily, flammable liquid which is insoluble in water, but soluble in most organic solvents. Cumene is widely used as an intermediate for the production of Phenol and Acetone which are obtained through Cumene peroxidation. It is also used as a thinner for paints, lacquers, and enamels and is usually found as a component in coal tar and petroleum. Cumene can also be utilized in gasoline blending. However, more than 95% of the global Cumene produce is used in the manufacture of Phenol and Acetone which are in turn used to produce resins, coatings, plastics or construction materials. Therefore, Cumene demand is closely tied to the movement across these markets. Traditionally, Cumene was produced by reacting Propylene and Benzene over an acid catalyst. Modern methods holding high activity and selectivity to Cumene, are based on the reaction of Propylene and Benzene in either liquid or gaseous phase using Aluminum Chloride and solid Phosphoric Acid as catalysts.