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Weak US market leads to low benzene demand
Mar '08
Confidence of Asian pure benzene market faltered on Wednesday due to the weakness in the United States market.

FOB Korea closed down at US $14 from $1068-1069 per ton, market bids were scarce. In trading pit, Glencore offered at $1085 per mt FOB for April and CML offered at $1070 per mt for May shipments. Last night, South Korean manufacturers showed intentions to buy May cargo at $1075 per mt FOB, but no deal was finalized.

Since the closure of Tuban Aromatic combined device from Trans Pacific Petrochemical Indotama (TPPI) last weekend, traders began to measure the possibility of arbitrage trade between Korea and Southeast Asia. Downstream demand and freight were taken into account. Some regional manufacturers including Singapore petrochemical, ExxonMobil and PTT Aromatics and Refining Company have already reduced or plan to cut down aromatics device, due to thin profits.

But other reports said external sources were already developed, local businessmen expected at least 12,000 mt of pure benzene or four normal cargoes would be shipped out from Iran to local market in late March.

Few other businessmen expressed their doubts whether styrene producers would buy pure benzene at such a high level, because some manufacturing plants in Southeast Asian region were underemployed due to weak profits.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - China

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