04 August 2010 22:23 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US benzene spot prices have failed to escape the range in which they started the week amid sluggish demand despite being buffeted by news some traders had hoped would move prices, sources said on Wednesday.
The August price range was last heard at $2.94-2.97/gal FOB (free on board) USG (US Gulf), sources said. That was narrower than the $2.90-3.00/gal range that started the week despite producers’ efforts to breach the $3.00/gal ceiling, sources said.
“The market is in need of fire,” one trader said. “Up or down, I don't care, but movement.”
Sluggish demand plagued the benzene market this week despite increased crude oil prices and data that the US economy had added 42,000 jobs in July, more than many economists had forecast, sources said.
“There’s no chemical demand, no gasoline demand,” one trader said.
US sellers had looked with hope to rising benzene prices in Asia and Europe, and a deal done on 3 August at $3.02/gal FOB USG (US Gulf) had seemed to show the same trend had reached the US Gulf region.
But the US market stalled the next day, with traders describing the scene as “slow”. The bid/offer range contracted to $2.92-2.97/gal and then further, with no deals heard by mid-day 4 August.
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