01 June 2012 07:23 [Source: ICIS news]
By Mahua Chakravarty
SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Benzene prices in ?xml:namespace>
Benzene prices may slip below the psychological $1,000/tonne (€810/tonne) FOB (free on board)
“Prices can go below $1,000/tonne FOB
Naphtha prices in Asia were at $809.50-812.50/tonne CFR (cost and freight)
Looking at the current $245.50-257.50/tonne spread from naphtha to benzene, there is room for benzene prices to drop further, they said.
Aromatics producers need a spread of about $150/tonne as the break-even point for production margins.
Spot benzene prices in Asia hit a five-month low on 31 May at $1,055-1,070/tonne FOB
Prices have plunged by $120-130/tonne in the past one month, mainly driven by a bearish upstream market, players added.
“The market is mainly being driven by crude [these days],” said a second Korean producer.
Meanwhile, benzene supply in
Benzene supply was more balanced for June as a number of regional crackers have reduced or are planning to cut operating rates, traders and producers said.
Poor margins for toluene disproportionation (TDP) producers have also forced few units to cut production in recent weeks, resulting in less benzene supply, they added.
Asian benzene exporters were also planning to load about 50,000-60,000 tonnes of benzene for the
But demand for benzene from the SM sector could also see some decline in the coming weeks, as some SM producers in the region were planning to cut production due to weak performance in the derivatives styrenics sector, producers added.
($1 = €0.81)
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