Asia benzene surges $45/tonne on high crude values, US prices

22 February 2011 02:10  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s benzene values surged by $45/tonne (€33/tonne) early on Tuesday morning, setting a fresh 31-month high due to an overnight surge in NYMEX crude futures and US benzene values, said traders.

Prices were at $1,235-1,245/tonne FOB (free on board) Korea, a sharp $45/tonne hike from Monday’s close and the highest seen since 5 August 2008, according to ICIS.

Offers for any April loading cargoes were heard at $1,245-1,250/tonne FOB Korea that met bids at $1,230-1,235/tonne FOB Korea, $35-40/tonne higher than Monday’s deal.

Traders said that the overnight jump in crude futures to above $93/bbl due to tensions in the Middle East was the key factor for Tuesday's price jump.

Increases in the US benzene values to $4.40-4.49/gal or $1,315-1,342/tonne FOB Barges late on Monday was another strong influence on the market, they added.

Asia is a net exporter of benzene to the US, on spot and contract basis.

($1 = €0.74)

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By: Mahua Chakravarty
+65 6780 4359



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