Asia benzene jumps by $20/tonne following Japan quake

11 March 2011 08:02  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asian benzene prices jumped by $20/tonne (€15/tonne) on Friday afternoon following news that an 8.9-magnitude earthquake struck Japan, said market sources.

Prices were hovering at $1,145-1,155/tonne FOB Korea in the afternoon, up $20/tonne from levels seen on Friday morning.

Offers for May loading have shot up by $15/tonne from levels seen in the morning to $1,160/tonne FOB Korea, while bids strengthened to $1,140/tonne FOB Korea.

A trader with Mitsui & Co in Tokyo confirmed that JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp, Idemitsu Kosan and Cosmo Oil have all shut down their aromatics units in Chiba and Kashima.

He added that a refinery in Sendai has also been stopped. No further details were available.

Other companies which have aromatics units in Chiba and Kashima include Maruzen, Mitsubishi Chemical and Sumitomo Chemical (see capacities below).

The company officials were not available for comment as phone lines were down.

Japan and South Korea are the two biggest suppliers and exporters of benzene in northeast Asia.

($1 = €0.73)

Capacities of plants in Chiba and Kashima

By: Mahua Chakravarty
+65 6780 4359

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