30 April 2010 20:34 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--US benzene contracts for May settled at $3.52/gal, a 4-cent increase from April when spot activity was thin, buyers and sellers said on Friday.
The US May contract price settled within the range of market expectations.
Spot benzene bids and offers for prompt delivery drifted within five cents of $3.50/gal FOB (free on board) USG (US Gulf) during the final week of April. Bids on more flexible loading terms were in 3-4 cent/gal backwardation, traders said.
Prompt availability was tight and sellers said vessel delays extended premiums two or three weeks into May.
US refinery rates have increased in the past four weeks, allowing reformate supplies to lengthen amid sluggish seasonal demand growth in the gasoline segment.
Major US benzene producers include BP Chemical, ExxonMobil, Flint Hills Resources, LyondellBasell, Shell, Sunoco and Total.
($1 = €0.76)
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