08 March 2006 19:51 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Declining crude oil values caused US Gulf benzene spot prices to fall to an eight-week low of $2.55-2.60/ ($765-780 or Euro643-655/tonne) free on board (FOB) US Gulf (USG), aromatics traders said on Wednesday.
March benzene spot business was said to be done at $2.56/gallon FOB USG, within the bid/offer range indicated in the morning. A May spot deal was done at $2.54/gallon FOB USG, according to ICIS pricing.
US aromatics traders agreed that energy prices were driving benzene spot numbers lower.
The April New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex) crude oil futures contract price sank to $59.25/bbl early on Wednesday, a $2.33/bbl drop compared with the Tuesday settlement. As of 12:40 CST (1800 GMT), the April contract price was trading at $59.82/bbl, down $1.78/bbl. US crude oil inventories were at their highest levels since May 1999, pushing futures values lower.
The decline in benzene spot prices could cause domestic styrene monomer (SM) spot prices to decline further, sources said. SM spot prices were reported at 46-47 cents/pound FOB USG, or $1,015-1,035/tonne FOB USG.
US styrene spot prices were $30-40/tonne above European spot prices and $85-90/tonne above Asian spot values.
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