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Benzene prices slip further
25
Dec '08
With the approaching Christmas holidays, Asian Benzene markets declined on Wednesday, FOB Korea closed at US $299.75-$300.75 per ton; South-East Asia closed at $276.75-$277.75 per ton, both down by $10 per ton. Offer price for February shipment stood at $315 per ton; for March shipment slightly increased $10 per ton.

One of the traders offered $285 per ton, FOB Korea, for 500 tons to be shipped in January.

According to experts, weak demand from Benzene related industries would continue to constrain the increase of production capacity in the first quarter of 2009. Japanese Oil Company maintains its operation rate at 70 percent due to weak demand in Asia. Benzene production capacity of aromatics plant of South Korea's petrochemical industry at Onsan is 110,000 tons per year. Last week Thailand PTTAR closed its number one aromatics combo plant, its benzene production capacity is 363,000 tons per year.

In addition, aromatics plant of Honam Petrochemical Industry in South Korea has increases its operation rate by 20 percent to 90 percent, its benzene production capacity is 150,000 tons per year. Singapore petrochemical company also plans to raise its operation rate of its two aromatics devices by 8-10 percent, number 1 device produces 105,000 tons of Benzene per year, number 2 device produces 2 165,000 tons per year.

In the China benzene Market, prices sustained at RMB 2,700-2,800 per mt ex-tank Eastern China on Tuesday. Most of players have acquired a wait-and-see attitude.

In Europe, on December 23, benzene market prices slipped down as energy prices retreated back down to below $40 per bbl level following the opening of US market.

Offers were quoted at around $285-$290 per mt CIF ARA for January shipment. December prices were quoted at around $270-$275 per mt CIF ARA against bids at around $250-$260 per mt CIF ARA.

By the day end, offers were assessed at around $260-$270 per mt CIF ARA for December and at around $265-$275 per mt CIF ARA for January.

In the US region, benzene market remained quiet compared to previous session on the back of falling crude prices. During morning trading session, bids stood at around $0.85 per gallon for December; $0.93 per gallon for January and a bit higher at around $1.03-1.04 per gallon for February.

However, market activities remained subdued for the rest of the day due to less participation from traders. By the day end, closing offer prices stood at around $0.85-$0.92 per gallon for December; $0.93-$0.98 per gallon for January and at around $1.04-$1.10 per gallon for February.

For world market prices click here

Fibre2fashion News Desk - China

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