08 November 2011 22:03 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US benzene spot prices have moved higher the past two days with stronger crude prices, but some market participants said on Tuesday they expect benzene to come back down soon as supply/demand fundamentals prevail.
Traders have said benzene has been more driven by supply/demand fundamentals in October and November and would likely continue that way for the remainder of the fourth quarter.Benzene spot prices were at a monthly low of $3.02–3.08/gal ($904–922/tonne, €660–673/tonne) FOB (free on board) on 1 November, before gradually moving higher on crude.
Current benzene spot prices were at $3.23–3.27/gal FOB.
However, trade participants have said overall benzene demand in the US has been soft as a result of ample supply following an influx of imports in October and early November from Europe and Asia.
“Crude is irrelevant,” said a Houston-based aromatics trade participant. “We are long in EU, material is coming to the US, and we don't seem to be willing to just buy anything in the US at any price.”
In addition to the weak demand, trade participants have said producers are faced with the task of destocking aromatics inventories for end-of-year tax purposes.
($1 = €0.73)
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