DeWitt Aromatics: Big shift in benzene trade seen by 2010

22 September 2005 08:45  [Source: ICIS news]

PARIS (ICIS news)--A fundamental shift in benzene's global trade pattern will be in place by 2010 and Asia will become the world's largest importer of the key aromatic, Chuck Venezia, vice president of benzene and derivatives for consultants DeWitt, said here on Thursday.
Currently, Asia is a slight net exporter of benzene due to the large volumes shipped from South Korea to the US. However, by 2010, Asia will begin consuming more than 750,000 tonne of imported benzene.

Product will be sourced primarily from the Middle East (455,000 tonne/year) and Eastern Europe (129,000 tonne). In an interesting shift, North America will begin to ship benzene (169,000 tonne/year) to Asia, rather than benzene derivatives.

"As a result, we expect benzene's benchmark pricing to shift from a US contract price to a prevailing contract price negotiated in Asia, similar to the precedent set by paraxylene (PX)," said Venezia.

Another major shift will also take place in Europe, which will become a net exporter of benzene thanks to 162,000 tonne of exports to the Middle East.

Venezia was speaking at the one-day Investment Drivers in Aromatics conference organised by DeWitt.

By: Robert Brown
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