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Demand for benzene derivatives expected to fall
Apr '09
Despite tight market supply, pure benzene main Asia continued to slightly increase on Wednesday. FOB Korea closed in US $651-652 per ton, South-East Asia closed at $642.50-643.50 per ton, both falling by $1.75 per ton.

Early morning trade activities were slow; offers for June contract were made at $645 per ton and at $660 per ton in afternoon trades. China Aviation Oil (CAO) bought a shipment for delivery in June at $655 per ton and another deal was made at $650 per ton between Interchem and OTI.

In recent weeks, prices of Benzene have shot up due to a supply shortage, as Asian benzene producers had reduced their plant operation rate in the past few months. Due to a price difference existing between the US and Asia market, benzene manufacturers are now using the arbitrage window to offload their stocks in Asia.

Japan Oil's TDP plant with a production capacity of 90,000 tons per year of Benzene has reached full capacity since its restart last week. Recent hikes in prices of Paraxylene (PX) have also had TDP operators in Asia rapidly increasing operation loads.

Commenting on the outlook of the market, demand for pure benzene derivatives from downstream market are expected to decline. Asian styrene, polystyrene and ABS resin are expected to get into a downward adjustment. Increase of styrene supply and greater resistance from buyer in lower reaches indicates bearish market sentiment.

Affected by global economic downturn, benzene exports from South Korea to the United States are in a sharp decline for three consecutive months; March benzene exports were 14,563 tons, representing a year-on-year decline of 73 percent. March benzene exports to China were 37,799 tons and Taiwan 38,536 tons.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - China

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