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Benzene market on wait & watch mode
06
May '10
In recent days, overall demand for pure benzene from downstream styrene, aniline and other downstream sectors in Asia maintained a steady flow, which provided stable support to benzene market.

In the Asian markets, benzene closed at US $994-997 per ton FOB Korea on May 4, flat with the previous trading day. Offers for overseas supply were around US $990-1010 per ton, while the spread between domestic goods and overseas goods was around 150-400 Yuan per ton.

In the Chinese market, benzene prices in East China ranged between 7,700-7,800 Yuan per ton, price in South China touched 7,700-7,800 Yuan per ton and price in North China stood at 7,700-7,800 Yuan per ton.

As some petrochemical producers in Asia are considering using LPG as cracking feedstock, aromatic yield is far lower than crackers using naphtha as raw material; therefore, Asian supply of benzene is expected to reduce in May and June.

Market sentiment is in the doldrums, due to the impact of crude oil. The market is strongly covered with wait and watch sentiment. Transactions are deadlocked. The Chinese benzene market is expected to undergo consolidation in the short term.

Offers for European and U.S benzene went down and arbitrage profits of inter-continental transportation among Asia, Europe and the United State still exist. Arbitrage operation maintains for more than one month, however arbitrage space narrows down recently as of May 4, Asia-Europe benzene price difference was US $100 per ton.

The open arbitrage window continues, but its impact slowed down with the weakening of arbitrage transactions. Supply outside Asian market increases, but overall supply pressure is not large. With gradual improvement in the operation in downstream sector, short-term supply pressure is not expected to be large.

Fibre2fashion News Desk

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