US benzene spot prices spike on stronger fundamentals

24 May 2012 22:31  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US benzene spot prices for June spiked on Thursday following a rebound in crude prices, higher benzene prices in Europe and increased short-term demand from US buyers.

The increase in benzene spot levels comes a week after benzene prices hit a four-month low on weaker crude prices.

June benzene prices moved up early in the day on spot trading heard at $4.25/gal ($1,272/tonne, €1,018/tonne) FOB (free on board). The trade was up from the previous day’s May range of $4.05-4.10/gal FOB. May benzene discussions were quiet this morning, with many traders shifting to June timing.

By the afternoon, June benzene spot prices had fallen slightly to $4.10-4.22/gal FOB.

Rising crude prices supported the increase, but some traders attributed the jump in benzene values to arbitrage window opportunities between the US and Europe.

Europe benzene spot prices for June were at $1,280-1,300/tonne CIF (cost, insurance, freight) ARA (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp). May benzene in Europe was also heard to have traded at a higher price of $1,400/tonne CIF during the day.

Trade sources added that the increase in short-term demand was brought on by a couple of major US buyers seeking to cover positions for FOB benzene cargoes.

($1 = €0.80)


By: Brian Balboa
+1 713 525 2653



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