03 January 2006 18:56 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--The US January benzene contract price settled up 28 cents/gal, or 12.8%, at $2.46/gal free on board (FOB), market sources said on Tuesday.
The increase in the January benzene contract price came after January spot prices rose from the upper $2.20s/gal FOB HTC to $2.50/gal FOB HTC by 29 December, an approximate 10% jump.
End-users looking to balance feedstock requirements for early 2006 combined with strong buying interest from several traders for Q1 spot barrels pushed prices higher throughout December.
The 28 cents/gal increase in the January benzene contract price combined with an expected rise in natural gas contract numbers could support higher styrene monomer (SM) contract prices, a major benzene derivative.Benzene, ethylene and natural gas are the three main raw materials used to manufacture SM.
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