Europe Feb benzene gains further support, confirmed at €1,001/t

01 February 2011 14:31  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--The European February benzene contract was confirmed at €1,001/tonne ($1,371/tonne), up €122/tonne from January, as the initial settlement received further support from players on Tuesday.

The settlement was made at a US dollar concept of $1,373/tonne FOB (free on board) NWE (northwest Europe) and converted to the euro price at the officially agreed upon exchange rate of €1 to $1.3716.

A sizeable increase had been expected for February in light of the gains seen for spot cargo over the last week, as a spate of cracker outages tightened the European market and drove up prices.

“We were expecting an increase of about this size,” said one buyer from the phenolic chain. “This will have a huge impact on downstream markets.”

One aromatics trader commented that downstream players were exercising caution on the back of the February increase.

The trader said: “Styrene sellers have already started to increase their prices over the last two weeks since benzene began to climb.”

Another source said it expected February styrene contracts to move up by at least €100/tonne based on feedstock increases alone.

February ethylene contracts moved up by €25/tonne to €1,135/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), the second highest level since the third quarter of 2008.

($1 = €0.73)

For more on benzene and styrene visit ICIS chemical intelligence
To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect

By: Truong Mellor
+44 208 652 3214

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