GPCA '10: Asia benzene to be oversupplied in 2011 - supplier

08 December 2010 14:36  [Source: ICIS news]

DUBAI (ICIS)--Benzene in Asia is to remain oversupplied through 2011 as reformers are expected to operate at high rates due to strength in the paraxylene (PX) market, a key regional supplier said on Wednesday.

A strong PX market in 2011 is expected to support reformer margins, which could result in producers running at high rates, the supplier said.

The supplier was speaking on the sidelines of the fifth annual Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) forum in Dubai.

As benzene is a by-product, supply of the aromatics product would remain ample in Asia, it added.

Asia has net surplus production of benzene. The region exports the product to the US and Europe.

Monthly benzene exports from Asia to the US, on term and spot bases, were estimated at about 50,000-70,000 tonnes, the supplier said.

Net supply of benzene in Asia is expected to rise following the start-up of S-Oil’s 280,000 tonne/year benzene plant in South Korea in the second quarter of next year.

Demand from the US is expected to improve in 2011, with limited impact to be felt as a result of the US Environment Protection Agency (EPA) implementing its MSAT-II regulations from January 2011, he added.

The EPA regulations would reduce the content of benzene in gasoline.

The GPCA forum runs from 7-9 December.

For more on benzene visit ICIS chemical intelligence
Read John Richardson and Malini Hariharan’s Asian Chemical Connections blog
To discuss issues facing the chemical industry visit
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By: Mahua Chakravarty
+65 6780 4359

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