Asia benzene climbs another $15-20/tonne driven by US trading

20 January 2011 10:09  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Spot benzene values in Asia firmed for a second day in a row on Thursday by another $15-20/tonne (€11-15/tonne) on the back of a strong US market seen during overnight trading, said traders and producers.

Prices were hovering at a fresh 28-month high on Thursday at $1,135-1,150/tonne FOB (free on board) Korea, $15-20/tonne higher than Wednesday’s close, according to ICIS pricing.

Benzene prices jumped $50/tonne from last Friday’s closing on the back of firm crude and US benzene values.

“The market has cooled down today [Thursday] (after yesterday’s active trading),” said a regional broker.

Three deals for March loading cargoes were heard at $1,140-1,150/tonne FOB Korea, compared with the 10 March cargoes heard fixed on Wednesday.

But sentiment remained firm on Thursday in Asia, supported by the continuing hike in US benzene values seen late on Wednesday. Prompt inventories in the US were tight, said traders.

January benzene spot prices were at $4.20-4.30/gal FOB barges on Wednesday, up from $4.19-4.21/gal FOB assessed on Tuesday.

This was spurring spot demand for benzene in Asia, as exporters were planning to ship more material to the US in January and February, they added.

($1 = €0.74)

Read John Richardson and Malini Hariharan’s blog – Asian Chemical Connections
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By: Mahua Chakravarty
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