30 August 2012 20:46 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US September benzene contract will likely come down, trade sources said on Thursday, pointing to weaker demand, excess supply and a drop in spot prices over the month of August.
Current benzene spot prices are at $4.14-4.23/gal ($1,239-1,266/tonne, €991-1,013/tonne) FOB (free on board), down from $4.65-4.75/gal FOB on 1 August.
The spot levels were also down from the August record-high settlement of $4.60/gal FOB.
The direction of the spot price direction in the final week of the month can usually indicate which direction contract settlements will follow.
Demand from the downstream styrene industry has been thin owing to a seasonal slowdown. Recent styrene production outages brought on by Hurricane Isaac and a force majeure by Styrolution for the month of August has kept producers from buying benzene.
Some trade sources said the reduced styrene production in the US could also mean that producers may have extra feedstock benzene that can not be processed.
($1 = €0.80)
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