26 February 2010 18:40 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--US benzene contracts for March settled lower at $3.43/gal, down 26 cents from the February benchmark, buyers and sellers said Friday.
Market participants said low US refinery rates and loss of capacity from liquid crackers having switched to natural gas boosted US import demand, with up to 200,000 tonnes of benzene from the Middle East and Asia destined for the US Gulf in March and April.
The March contract was consistent with the expectations of consumers and analysts in the last week of February.
Major US benzene producers include BP Chemical, ExxonMobil, Flint Hills Resources, LyondellBasell, Shell, Sunoco and Total.
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