Europe December benzene confirmed at €730/tonne, spot still firm

01 December 2010 15:41  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--The European December benzene contract has been confirmed at €730/tonne ($948/tonne), up €27/tonne from the previous month, as the initial settlement received further support on Wednesday.

The initial settlement was made at a US dollar concept of $960/tonne FOB (free on board) NWE (northwest Europe) and converted to the euro price at the officially agreed exchange rate of $1.3146 to €1.

The seller involved in the initial settlement said that the process had been “smooth” this month.

Despite the increase, a weaker euro meant that the dollar value of the settlement in fact came down by $14/tonne from November.

One buyer said: “The benzene market has been balanced during the past week, so the price was really driven by oil and maybe the US although it was a notch more than I was hoping.”

Benzene values have continued to move up this week, buoyed by strong crude and energy numbers as well as gains in the US market.

December spot values were at $975-985/tonne CIF (cost, insurance, freight) ARA (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp) this afternoon.

One trader added: “Naphtha is strong as well, so the smaller spread with benzene is pushing the numbers up. Styrene demand is also good, which is surprising, particularly in the distribution market.”

($1 = €0.77)

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By: Truong Mellor
+44 208 652 3214



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