Higher phenol exports from new capacity in Saudi Arabia was one factor in the 7% increase in global trade volume, to 3.0 million tons, projected for 2018.
Phenol exports from the Middle East of 205,000 tons, up 340%, are projected for the year, with 190,000 tons of that going to Asia-Pacific and the remainder to Western Europe. Virtually all of the region’s exports are from Saudi Arabia, top destinations including China, India, Taiwan and Netherlands.
Asia-Pacific trade was highlighted by higher imports from the Middle East, and also North America, plus an expansion in intra-regional trade.
China, Japan and Taiwan were strong growth import markets. India imported large amounts of phenol but volume fell sharply in September and October as new domestic capacity came on.
Shipments from Korea and Thailand posted strong gains, mainly on intra-regional trade.
From International Trader Publications’ Phenol World Trade Report.