Global benzene prices dip following fall in crude oil
01 Mar '12
2 min read
Global benzene price fell on February 28, as the entire international market was hit by the fall in oil prices. Asian benzene price of May cargo fell US $11 to $1,185-1,187 / ton (FOB Korea).
Recent demand for styrene has fallen, mainly due to insufficient operation rates of styrene plants in Asian region.
US benzene price fell 6 cents. March cargo dropped to 416 cents / gallon (FOB USG) or 414 cents / gallon (DDP USG).
European benzene price fell $3 / ton and March cargo was traded at $1237 / ton (CIF ARA). Discussion was in the range of $1237-1240 / ton and negotiated level fell to around $1225-1232 / ton.
European downstream phenol units will restart operation in March; styrene plants will restart operation later in April. The lack of demand in recent time makes it difficult to support the market.
In the Chinese domestic market, benzene prices in East China were around 8,450-8,550 Yuan / ton, in South China at around 8,400-8,600Yuan / ton and in North China, it was in the range of 8,400-8,500 Yuan / ton.
Although prices of crude oil and benzene offers from abroad have declined, Chinese domestic benzene market did not explicitly follow overseas market trend.
As some plants are under short-term maintenance, market supply is relatively sufficient. But the inflow of some low level supply makes market price difficult to rise, so the market mainly shows short-term volatility.
The change in amount of supply may have a significant impact on domestic benzene market at a later stage, but in recent times, benzene market price is relatively stable.