Asia benzene tumbles $50/tonne on weak Europe, US markets

09 January 2013 10:01  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s benzene spot values plunged by $50/tonne (€38/tonne) on Wednesday, tracking price declines in the EU and US markets, traders said.

Prices were assessed at $1,385-1,395/tonne FOB (free on board) Korea for January and first-half February shipments at the close of trade, according to ICIS. For second-half February cargoes, prices were at $1,375-1,390/tonne FOB Korea.

Two fixtures for March shipments were closed in the afternoon session - one at $1,370/tonne FOB Korea and the other at $1,385/tonne FOB Korea.

Benzene was on its third consecutive session of losses, shedding a total of $95/tonne or 6.3% from 4 January, ICIS data showed.

Sellers were seen liquidating stocks to lock in profits after benzene prices hit a record high of close to $1,500/tonne FOB Korea in late December, market sources said.

A recent softening in the styrene monomer (SM) market also weighed down on benzene prices in the region, market sources said.

Spot SM prices were at $1,730-1,750/tonne CFR (cost and freight) China on Wednesday, down by $15/tonne from the previous day, according to ICIS.

($1 = €0.76)

Author: Ong Sheau Ling

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