World Analysis – Cumene, Phenol & Acetone

  • Market Overview
  • Key Benefits
  • Service Features
  • Annual Table of Contents

Market Overview

Duration: Long-term outlook to 2050

The phenolics chain consists primarily of cumene, phenol, and acetone. Cumene is produced by the alkylation of benzene with propylene. Nearly all cumene produced is utilized to manufacture phenol and its byproduct, acetone.
Phenol and acetone are both feedstocks for producing bisphenol-a (BPA), mainly used to produce polycarbonate (PC) along with other resins and plastics. PC is a high-performance thermoplastic that is often found in applications requiring high-impact resistance and superior aesthetic qualities, such as transparency or precisely controlled coloring. PC can withstand higher-temperature operating conditions than most transparent or aesthetic thermoplastics. Electronics/electrical is the most significant demand segment for PC worldwide, followed by the sheet and film segment. Phenol formaldehyde resin is another critical use for phenol. These resins are used in various applications and were some of the first commercial synthetic resins. On the acetone side, along with BPA, methyl methacrylate (MMA) is a major derivative, as is its use as a solvent in numerous applications such as paints and coatings, pharmaceuticals, and the production of isocyanates. Acetone can also be used as a feedstock to produce ketones and isopropyl alcohol (IPA).

The relationship between phenol and acetone has always been a key element in market dynamics, with producers having to consider the supply/demand balance of both products. Phenol is generally considered the main product; common wisdom says that phenol/acetone production units are operated with phenol demand in mind and that acetone supply must be managed as efficiently (and economically) as possible. This leads to regular cycles in regional and global markets where phenol can be in strong demand with better margin contribution, but acetone length means weakness on that side of the market. Producers will typically sustain operating rates for as long as overall economics allow, but cuts will be made if acetone pricing becomes so weak that margins are eroded. Conversely, when phenol demand drops and price and margins weaken, the subsequent cut in production often creates a much tighter acetone balance and stronger pricing that supports overall economics and sustains the asset’s profitability.

Key Benefits

Duration: Long-term outlook to 2050

The World Analysis – Cumene Phenol Acetone provides a comprehensive analysis and key insights into critical market developments as they shape the future outlook for the global Cumene Phenol Acetone market.

The following reports, data files, analytical tools and visualization modules are available online and can be downloaded from our website:

  • Direct Access to the Subject Matter Experts
  • In-depth exploration of present market strategic insights, recognition of critical challenges, and presentation of our experts’ forecasts and analysis
  • Explanatory Notes detailing data sources, methodologies, unit and conversion factors, and World Analysis deliverables.
  • Energy and Economy assumptions
  • Price, cost, and margin base assumptions forecast and sensitivities analysis, including price assessment methodology and price definitions across all regions.
  • Excel data files with standard supply/demand graphics and price forecasts extended to 2050, trade grids with country and regional trade flows Data appendix (Excel) with supply/demand, capacity and trade tables.
  • An online dashboard visualization of capacity, supply/demand, trade grids, and price, cost and margin forecasts
  • Supply/demand and capacity database access via data browser
  • Data Appendix (Excel) with supply/demand and capacity tables
  • Capacity by company/shareholder, capacity integration, top producer/consumer and surplus/deficit capacity ranking, and ownership/subsidiary information

Data is provided for the following products:

Supply/demand balances:

  • Cumene
  • Phenol
  • Acetone


  • Cumene
  • Phenol
  • Acetone

This World Analysis contains detailed information on capacities, production, demand, and trade for all significant producing and consuming countries and regions. Although data gathering is essential for understanding history and potential future trends, we believe that the interpretation and analysis of the data is the most valuable information to our clients.

Service Features

Duration: Long-term outlook to 2050


Frequency: Bi-annual
Format: Excel
Timeframe: 10-year forecasts available from periods 1990 – 2050
Area Coverage: By country/region; include “hypothetical” capacity changes in the forecast period
Chemical Coverage: Cumene, Phenol, Acetone, Bisphenol A


Frequency: Updated daily
Format: Excel
Timeframe: 10-year forecasts available from periods 1990 – 2050

  • Nameplate capacity on individual plant location by producer and by the shareholder for main study products + essential derivatives
  • Integration table and top producer and consumer ranking tables (includes net surplus/deficit)
Chemical Coverage: Acetone, Alkylphenol, Aniline, Bisphenol A, Cumene, Cyclohexanol/one, MMA, Other Phenol, Phenol, Phenol Formaldehyde Resins, p-Dodecylphenol, p-Nonylphenol, Diphenyl Oxide, Phenol Derivatives (Agrochemicals), Polyphenylene Ether Resins, Salicylic Acid


Frequency: Quarterly
Format: Excel
Timeframe: up to 2050
Area Coverage: For the critical regions of North America (US), Europe & Asia
Chemical Coverage: Cumene, Phenol, Acetone


Frequency: Bi-annual
Format: Excel
Timeframe: 1 year of history, up to 10 years of forecast
Area Coverage: Between partner countries and by region
Chemical Coverage: Cumene, Phenol, Acetone


Frequency: Annual
Format: PDF/HTML
Timeframe: 5-year history, forecast to 2050
Coverage: Regional market summaries

  • Production economics/snapshots for selected regions/processes
  • Production process/technology overview
Chemical Coverage: Cumene, Phenol, Acetone


  • Access to our global team of subject matter experts
  • Interactive data visualization module (dashboard)
  • Standard supply/demand graphs
  • Data appendix with supply/demand and capacity tables
  • Supply/demand and capacity database access via data browser

Annual Table of Contents

  • Introduction 5
  • Executive Overview 7
  • Strategic Insights 14
  • Economic Forecast Update 14
  • European Energy Crisis 14
  • Anti-dumping duties 15
  • Phenolics and sustainability 18
  • Integration 19
  • Acetone demand 20
  • Phenol demand concerns 20
  • How does cumene react to refinery changes? 21
  • North America 22
  • South America 26
  • West Europe 29
  • Central Europe 33
  • CIS & Baltic States 36
  • Africa 39
  • Middle East 42
  • Indian Subcontinent 45
  • Mainland China 49
  • Other Northeast Asia 53
  • Southeast Asia 57
  • Production Process Overview 60
  • Introduction 60
  • Cumene 60
  • Phenol 61
  • Acetone 62
  • Production Process Economics 63
  • Explanatory Notes 63
  • Cumene Process Economics 64
  • Phenol Process Economics 67
  • Price Forecast 70
  • Methodology 70
  • Cumene 71
  • Asia 71
  • Europe 71
  • United States 71
  • Phenol 72
  • Introduction 72
  • Asia 72

Market Coverage





David Potter

David Potter Vice President Aromatics and Fibers, EMEA Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

David Potter is Vice President of Aromatics and Fibers, EMEA, at Chemical Market Analytics. David joined the Chemical Market Analytics team in January 2013 and is Vice President for the EMEA team, with product responsibility for pygas and benzene. David has expertise across several markets within the aromatics and fibers sector, including styrene monomers, phenolics, polyurethane feedstocks and ethylene oxide and derivatives. Between 2016-2018, David had global responsibility for Chemical Market Analytics daily pricing and market update reports for aromatics and light olefins. David joined the Chemical Market Analytics team from Platts, where he was an editor in the petrochemicals team responsible for price discovery, assessment, and editorial content on various petrochemical markets. However, David mainly focused on aromatics, where he was responsible for the benzene market coverage for over five years. Before his time at Platts, David worked for Petrochem Carless (now Haltermann Carless) for eight years between 1999-2007. He undertook many commercial roles here, including product management and customer service manager. He was responsible for buying and selling many different aliphatic and aromatic products, ketone solvents, antifreeze and glycols, plus undertaking many roles around road, rail and shipping logistics. David has a Bachelor of Arts in Media and a postgraduate diploma in Periodical Journalism.  
Terence Peh

Terence Peh Associate Director, Aromatics and Fibres  Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Terence is an Associate Director in the Aromatics and Fibres department of Chemical Market Analytics Terence is an Associate Director in the Aromatics and Fibers department of Chemical Market Analytics. He is primarily responsible for the Phenol, Acetone, Bisphenol-A, Orthoxylene and Phthalic Anhydride products in the Asia Pacific region. He has more than a decade of experience in the chemical industry. Before joining Chemical Market Analytics, he had multiple commercial experiences in ExxonMobil, spanning across sales, marketing, financial planning, business analysis and strategic planning in polyolefins and liquids, with a deep understanding of both internal and external interfaces to provide value-added business solutions for clients in consulting. Terence holds a Chemical Engineering degree from the National University of Singapore.

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