03 January 2012 16:31 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--The European January benzene contract has been confirmed at €860-865/tonne, up €189-194/tonne from the previous month, the first time in several years that a range has been widely confirmed in the market, players said on Tuesday.
An initial settlement heard late on Friday 30 December at $1,115/tonne was confirmed by other sellers in the market this morning, citing stronger sentiment and higher spot pricing for the current month.
“January spot levels were even higher than $1,115/tonne,” added one major European supplier.
The settlement was made at a US dollar concept of $1,115/tonne FOB (free on board) NWE (northwest Europe) and converted to the euro price at the agreed exchange rate of €1 to $1.2889.
However, other players confirmed that they had settled January at $1,108/tonne with the same exchange rate, which converted to €860/tonne.
One major consumer settled at €860/tonne with two large net producers, and said that it had failed to reach an agreement with a third.
“Looking at an increase of more than $200/tonne, the issue of $7/tonne is a minor one,” the buyer added.
Another consumer said that it has settled with one supplier at €860/tonne, but failed to reach an agreement with others, resorting to different fall back mechanisms in the absence of an agreement.
A sizable increase was expected for January, following a lower than expected December settlement and firming spot prices throughout the month on the back of rising crude values, higher US pricing and strong pull from the styrene market following several restarts in early December 2011.
($1 = €0.77)
For more on benzene and styrene visit ICIS chemical intelligence
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