Asia benzene, toluene falls $40-60/t on crude, weak fundamentals

17 May 2010 11:54  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Asia’s benzene and toluene prices dropped sharply by $40-60/tonne (€32-49/tonne) during Monday’s trading due to falling crude values and weak toluene market fundamentals, traders said.

Benzene prices took the sharpest hit and were hovering at about $880-890/tonne FOB (free on board) Korea in the afternoon, $60/tonne lower than last Friday’s close, according to ICIS pricing.

Prices touched a two-month low with offers for July loading cargoes dipping to $905-910/tonne FOB Korea that met bids at $880-885/tonne FOB Korea.

The continuing fall in crude values, which reached $70/bbl during Monday’s trading, and losses in the US benzene market last Friday were the two key factors that pushed prices down significantly, said market participants.

Toluene prices in the region also fell sharply below $800/tonne FOB Korea on Monday, a six-month low as sentiment plunged amid losses in crude values and prevailing weak demand and high supply.

Prices were notionally pegged at $785-800/tonne FOB Korea for June loading cargoes amid a lack of discussions. An offer from a Korean end-user was heard at $795/tonne FOB Korea but that too failed to draw any counter bids.

Traders said the market had ample supply and demand was poor due to the record-high stock levels in China, the region’s largest market.

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By: Mahua Chakravarty
+65 6780 4359

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