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International benzene markets witness sharp decline
May '12
International as well as Chinese domestic benzene markets have witnessed a sharp decline in prices. The continuous decrease in crude oil prices, along with price cut by petrochemical companies, has affected the benzene market to a great extent.

On May 15, the price of benzene in Asian markets dropped by US$ 51.5/ton to US$ 1,123.5/ton FOB Korea. July cargo was traded at US$ 1,100/ton FOB Korea, while August cargo was traded at US$ 1,115/ton FOB Korea.

In European markets too, benzene price tumbled by US$ 48.5/ton. June cargo was traded at US$ 1,200/ton CIF ARA in the morning, then price fell to about US$ 1,170-1,190/ton. May cargo was negotiated in the range of US$ 1,180-1,200/ton in the afternoon, but closed in the range of US$ 1,165-1,200/ton. Despite a fall in prices, buying interest picked up in the later half, as the supply side was tight.

In the US market, benzene price declined on May 15. May cargo was traded in the range of 388-397 cents/gal FOB USG, while June cargo was negotiated in the range of 387-388 cents/gal FOB USG.

In East China, market transactions for benzene were in the range of 8,350-8,450 Yuan/ton, whereas market transactions in South China were in the range of 8,300-8,400 Yuan/ton, and 8,400-8,500 Yuan/ton in North China.

In benzene's downstream sector, production capacities are currently not being fully utilized as there is continuing weakness of downstream market in recent period.

Market sentiment is subdued and overall negotiations were for small orders. In the short term, benzene market is expected to consolidate.

The implementation price of Sinopec's sales branch in East China is 8,600 Yuan/ton. There is moderate stock pressure and production and sales are relatively stable.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - China

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