12 February 2010 20:49 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Estimated US benzene production increased in fourth-quarter 2009 from a year earlier, although inventories declined from a year earlier, according to data made available Friday by the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association (NPRA).
Fourth-quarter benzene inventories in the US were estimated at 101.6m gal in 2009, compared with 112.2m gal in fourth-quarter 2008, NPRA said.
Benzene production, however, increased to an estimated 419.9m gallons in the 2009 period from 338.5m gallons a year earlier, when rapid destocking and plummeting energy values caused refiners to sharply reduce operations.
Although the last quarter of 2009 looked better than 2008, production and inventories both dropped from the third quarter, consistent with high energy values and lousy refining margins during that time.
Benzene production and inventory data was compiled from 29 US buyers and sellers.
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