NPRA ’10: Europe benzene to remain difficult in Q2

29 March 2010 23:37  [Source: ICIS news]

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (ICIS news)--Volatile crude prices and exchange rate fluctuations will keep the European benzene market difficult, a major European producer said on Monday.

“The first half of Q2 will be tense,” said the producer, speaking from the sidelines of the International Petrochemical Conference (IPC). “Supply issues will see visibility on pricing remain complicated. Europe will stay tight until the middle of May at the earliest.”

European benzene spot numbers continued to rise in Monday trading, with an inter-trade deal for delivery at any time in April was done at $1,100/tonne (€814/tonne) CIF ARA (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp), up from previous levels in a thin market with little offers. However, other deals for delivery in early April were unconfirmed at $1,200/tonne.

“The only thing missing for benzene now is a price per day,” the producer added.

Looking forward to the second half of the year, the producer felt that demand was uncertain.

“Downstream markets like polystyrene are good, and expandable polystyrene is improving as construction picks up in Europe with better weather now,” said the producer. “But how robust is this demand? Certainly in Asia, it is unclear how sustainable it is.”

Hosted by the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association (NPRA), the IPC continues through Tuesday.

($1 = €0.74)

For more on benzene visit ICIS chemical intelligence
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By: Truong Mellor
+44 208 652 3214

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