Asia benzene hits three-year high, up $30-35/tonne

01 August 2011 12:07  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s benzene prices jumped to a three-year high on Monday, in line with sharp spikes in values of upstream crude and key downstream styrene monomer (SM), said traders.

Spot prices were assessed at $1,240-1,250/tonne (€856-863/tonne) FOB (free on board) Korea on Monday, up $30-35/tonne from last Friday’s close, according to ICIS. Spot prices were last seen above the $1,240/tonne FOB Korea mark on 4 August 2008.

Trading was brisk on Monday, with three cargoes for September loading heard snapped up at $1,240-1,248/tonne FOB Korea.

Two more parcels for October loading were also traded at $1,248-1,255/tonne FOB Korea, market sources said.

SM, meanwhile, spiked to $1,580-1,600/tonne CFR (cost and freight) China on Monday, on news that the Formosa group may delay the restart of its two SM units as its Mailiao petrochemical complex was hit by another fire over the weekend, traders said.

Benzene may also be tracking the gains in US crude as sentiment in the oil markets got a boost on news that the US will avert a debt default.

Toluene prices in Asia also increased $30/tonne higher on Monday at $1,225-1,235/tonne FOB Korea, after hitting a three-year high last week.

($1 = €0.69)

By: Mahua Chakravarty
+65 6780 4359

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