20 September 2011 06:56 [Source: ICIS news]
By Mahua Chakravarty
SM production is the largest downstream for benzene, using up an estimated 50-55% of Asia's output of the material.
Spot benzene prices in Asia were hovering at about $1,070-1,085/tonne (€781-792/tonne) FOB (free on board)
At present, regional demand for benzene from the SM sector is steady, as SM producers currently generate robust margins, market sources said.
But the onset of the winter season from November in northeastern
Because of the freezing weather, there is less activity in the construction industry, which is a major end-user of SM.
“Construction demand will likely slow down in this region, [while] ABS [acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene plants’] operating rates are not high at present,” said a Japanese producer.
The expected weakness in demand will likely bloat supply of benzene in northeast Asia in the last three months of 2011, reversing the current tight availability of the material, industry sources said.
Supply in northeast Asia is limited for September and October amid a slew of scheduled shutdowns, as well as outages, at aromatics facilities in
Meanwhile, demand from the
Market sentiment is also weak in the
Asia is a net exporter of benzene to the
($1 = €0.73)
Read John Richardson and Malini Hariharan’s blog – Asian Chemical Connections
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