Asia benzene retreats $35/tonne on lower crude

13 January 2010 05:13  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Asian benzene prices opened almost $35/tonne (€25/tonne) lower on Wednesday morning following a drop in crude futures to below $80/bbl, traders and brokers said.

February NYMEX light sweet crude futures declined on the back of an unexpected rise in US distillate stocks and forecasts for milder weather across US and Europe which was expected to slash demand for heating oil.

Following this, benzene prices in Asia were hovering at $1,040-1,050/tonne FOB (free on board) Korea level towards mid-day on Wednesday, $35/tonne lower than Tuesday’s closing, according to global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.

Discussions were thin as buyers and sellers retreated further to the sidelines following the continuing bearishness in upstream crude values seen from Monday.

But some sellers stepped forth to offer any March loading cargoes of benzene at $1,050-1,055/tonne, which failed to entice buyers.

Similar bearish and cautious sentiments were seen in the Asian toluene market. Prices slid $20/tonne from Tuesday’s closing to $915-925/tonne FOB Korea.

Buying indications for February loading lots were cited at $915/tonne, with no offers given. Sellers of March loading cargoes offered at $925-945/tonne that met bids at $905-912/tonne.

($1 = €0.70)

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By: Mahua Chakravarty
+65 6780 4359



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