Europe March benzene spikes on tight supply

19 March 2010 10:10  [Source: ICIS news]

Benzene prices spikeLONDON (ICIS news)--European March benzene spot prices have spiked by more than $150/tonne (€110/tonne) on the back of tightness in the market, sources said on Friday.

“There is no cargo available for March,” said one trader. “There were bids seen but no offers there, so it was difficult to judge what people would be willing to pay.”

On Thursday afternoon, two prompt deals for delivery in early April were heard from industry to trade at $1,150/tonne CIF (cost, insurance and freight) ARA (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp), almost $100/tonne above where levels were pegged at the time.

Following news of the $1,150/tonne deal, the market galvanised and the bid/offer range for March material was pushed up to $1,150-1,250/tonne CIF ARA.

“March is very tight, almost dry,” said one source. “In one sense, the numbers we have seen for March are moot as there is no material available, but early April is also very tight right now.”

Bids for March were heard on Friday morning at $1,100/tonne, but were not met with any offers as cargo remained scarce.

A range for the first half of April was heard this morning slightly lower at $1,060-1,130/tonne CIF ARA as prompt cargo remained tight, while any April business was pegged at $1,035-1,065/tonne CIF ARA.

“People were not expecting such a tight market and they were selling short,” said another trader. “But it seems a lot of people have liquidated their inventories on benzene, so prices spiked as people tried to cover their shorts for March.”

($1 = €0.73)

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By: Truong Mellor
+44 208 652 3214



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