Asia benzene up $29-35/tonne on short-covering amid tight supply

07 November 2012 10:01  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia benzene prices rose by $29-35/tonne (€23-27/tonne) on Wednesday on short-covering as regional supply of the aromatics product remained tight, and backed by strong crude gains overnight, traders said.

At the close of trade on Wednesday, benzene was at $1,375-1,390/tonne FOB (free on board) Korea, according to ICIS.

US crude futures are currently trading at above $88/bbl levels after surging by more than $3/bbl on Tuesday.

“Strong upstream crude prices supported market sentiment,” said a northeast Asia-based producer.

End-users of benzene have retreated to the sidelines, buying on a need-to basis or opting to cut output to minimise production losses from high cost of feedstock, market sources said.

Those seeking prompt-loading cargoes to cover their short positions, on the other hand, continued to quote higher bids, they said.

Benzene may remain strong until late this month, when most of the end-users’ urgent need for prompt cargoes have been met, and supply will be augmented as S Korean benzene major SK Energy resumes operation at its reformers in Ulsan.

($1 = €0.78)

By: Jasmine Khoo
+65 6780 4359

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