18 February 2011 10:15 [Source: ICIS news]
By Mahua Chakravarty
Toluene prices in Asia firmed to a 30-month high this week and were at $990-1,005/tonne (€733-744/tonne) FOB (free on board) Korea on Friday, largely stable from Thursday and up $10-15/tonne from last week’s close, according to ICIS.
A deal for April loading was heard at $1,005/tonne FOB
Traders said that the gains in toluene were moderate compared with the $20/tonne price jump in benzene seen this week, due to poor demand from the key Chinese market.
Inventory levels in eastern China were estimated to be about 130,000-150,000 tonnes and could even go up to 170,000 tonnes by end of February due to the arrival of imports, said Chinese and regional traders.
“It needs several months for this amount of inventory to be digested,” said an east China-based trader.
“A lot depends on the gasoline price in
Toluene is used widely as an octane booster for gasoline blending.
Import demand from
Lastly, prices in the Chinese domestic market on yuan basis were still hovering below the US dollar prices, said traders.
Hence, toluene availability in northeast and southeast
($1 = €0.74)
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