For the Quarter Ending June 2021
Overall market outlook in the North American region improved following the recovery of the industrial infrastructure in the US Gulf Coast during the second quarter of 2021. Supply improved in the region, owing to the restart of several refineries with better availability of upstream Benzene. However, couple of producers struggled to operate Phenol facilities in normal rates. A major producer of Phenolic resins Hexion closed sales of Phenolic Resins in late April, as handed over its business to Black Diamond to reduce the debt. Demand surged in the second quarter as the intakes from the adhesives and coating industries remained constant amidst the seasonal hike from the building and construction sector. As a ripple effect, prices continuously strengthened with FOB Texas discussions reaching USD 2870 per tonne in June.
Asia Pacific region observed mixed sentiments in the second quarter of 2021. In Northeast Asia and China, the supply of feedstock Phenol remained pressurized due to the turnarounds in several Phenol manufacturing facilities across the regions, including South Korean Kumho P&B line 3 and Japan’s Mitsui Chemicals Phenol facility in Sakai in May and June. Demand in the Asia Pacific remained balanced throughout the quarter, owing to the consistent offtakes from downstream adhesives and coating industries. Till May prices of Phenolic resins were on a up stride with support of imposed taxes on imported heavy aromatics commodities. Although the pricing trend declined in June with Ex-Work Jiangyin prices in June being assessed at USD 1994 per tonne.
During the second quarter of 2021, supplies in the European region were balanced to tight owing to the turnarounds in several manufacturing facilities across Europe. Further the ease in availability was witnessed due the improvement in imported volumes from the US. Demand observed a seasonal hike from the construction sector, whereas enquiries from the downstream adhesives and coating production facilities and from the automotive sector improved throughout the second quarter.
For the Quarter Ending March 2021
During the first quarter of 2021, Phenolic Resin supplies in the North American region were tight due to the unprecedented freeze weather conditions in the US Gulf region which led to several plant outages. In March, Hexion Inc. announced intent to expand its Portland Oregon site as the first automated production line will come online at the end of first quarter of 2021. The demand however surged amid widening supply-demand gap widened due to halted production of Phenol at several facilities in US.
The supply of Phenolic Resins during the first quarter remained firm in Asia, due to sufficient availability of the feedstocks as major regional players ended their turnaround in H1 of the first quarter. India’s state-owned Assam Petrochemicals commissioned the Phenol-Formaldehyde plant in January. Hexion’s Phenolic Resins plant in Zhenjiang’s province was sold to Red Avenue New Materials Group Co Ltd, a Chinese company dealing in new materials for electronics, environmental protection, tire, and auto markets. The demand remained balanced as the buyers went for spot offtakes to avoid surplus inventories, amid fluctuating consumptions from the downstream sector. The average price of Phenolic resins in the Indian market was estimated around USD 1207/ton throughout the quarter.
The supplies in Europe region market improved as a major feedstock plant restarted after turnaround with prolonged shutdown of the feedstock Phenol manufacturers in the US, which fulfilled the availability of feedstock from the downstream adhesives sector. Towards the end of the quarter, the demand remained affected due to reduced offtakes from downstream sectors amidst lockdown restrictions imposed in several countries.
For the Quarter Ending December 2020
The consumption of Phenolic Resin witnessed an uptrend in H1 of Q4 2020, since the cruciality of adhesives and coatings in the automobile sector cultivated surge in consumption of Phenolic Resins throughout the quarter. In the other half of fourth quarter, several producers were cutting the production rates of feedstock phenol, fearing slump in its value amid the upturn of COVID-19 in some regions. Demand from the downstream industry was healthy and stable throughout the quarter as the rebound of the construction and automobile sector boosted the Phenolic Resin Industry. In India, the rebound of major downstream industries resulted in slight increment in the price curve of Phenol Resins, which maintained an average price of USD 1626 per tonne in Q4 2020.
The supplies of Phenolic Resins remained stable throughout the fourth quarter. The rebound of construction and automotive sector significantly impacted the consumption of Phenolic Resins during the quarter. Production cuts on the feedstock front at several major plants due to turnarounds and spread of new COVID strain resulted in reduced supply. In first half of the quarter, demand surged as the automobile and construction sector gained momentum as major economies across Europe eased restrictions. But moving into the later half, another lockdown imposed across several parts in Europe hampered the overall sales figure.
The supplies of Phenolic Resins were balanced in the H1 of Q4, due to turnarounds at the upstream Phenol units. The demand of Phenolic Resins showed continuously inclination, due to rebound of the automobile and construction sector. Paints and coating industry performed well due to increment in construction activities, thereby paving the way for surge in overseas shipments. Players were on massive strategic investments to recover the pandemic induced losses. Columbus based thermoset resin giant Hexion Inc. announced a definitive agreement to sell its Phenolic Specialty Resin and other resins product segment to Black Diamond and Investindustrial worth approximately USD 425 million in the beginning of the quarter.