US February benzene contract expected to move lower

31 January 2013 15:55  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US aromatics trade participants said on Thursday that they expect a decline of about 36-41 cents/gal for the February benzene contract, as spot prices have come down from January's record-high contract prices.

The February benzene contract is expected to settle later today.

The US benzene market kicked off 2013 with a record contract settlement of $5.16/gal ($l,544/tonne, €1,143/tonne), which came on the back of tight supplies and higher spot prices.

However, spot prices in January have come down following a similar drop in overseas benzene markets. Trade sources have mostly attributed the decline to weaker Asian benzene markets, as supply conditions in that region have improved.

Current benzene spot prices are at $4.71-4.82/gal FOB (free on board), well below the January benzene contract prices.

Spot price direction in the last week of the month is a typical indicator of where benzene contracts will settle.

($1 = €0.74)

By: Brian Balboa
+1 713 525 2653

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