19 January 2007 20:05 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS news)--Aromatics prices in Europe reached another low mark as benzene dropped below $900/tonne and styrene crossed the $1,100/tonne level despite large gains in crude, European industry sources said on Friday.
European benzene indications ended the week at $880-900/tonne CIF (cost, insurance, freight) ARA (?xml:namespace>
This was a fall of $10-20/tonne from earlier in the afternoon, and resulted in the lowest weekly closing range since 5 May 2006.
The downward slide was ignited by a low US March opening deal on Friday morning, which created nervousness in the European market and sparked significant selling interest, with the lowest February deal at $890/tonne CIF ARA.
Some European traders said benzene indications had fluctuated in line with crude values during the week, and were surprised that the $1.50/bbl gain in March ICE Brent futures did not support the benzene market.
Upstream, the sharp decrease in benzene prices managed to diminish the naphtha/benzene spread by $125-127/tonne during the week, as naphtha values at $491-495/tonne CIF NWE (northwest
Downstream, January indications closed at $1,080-1,090/tonne FOB (free on board)
This was a fall of $20/tonne from earlier in the afternoon, with the weekly closing range being the lowest since 28 April 2006.
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