Asia May benzene falls below $1,300/t on weak US, Europe markets

08 March 2013 03:15  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s spot benzene prices for May cargoes plunged to an 18-week low on Friday morning, falling below the $1,300/tonne (€988/tonne), following a weak performance in the US and European markets overnight, traders said.

Offers for May cargoes slipped to $1,295/tonne FOB (free on board) Korea, with bids now at $1,285-1,292/tonne FOB Korea, following two deals sealed at $1,300/tonne FOB Korea, they said.

Current prices represent a $45-50/tonne decline from Thursday’s close for May benzene at  $1,335-1,345/tonne FOB Korea.

Ample stock levels in the US market and a closed arbitrage window from Asia to the US curtailed the country’s appetite for imports, market sources said.

“[The] US market seems long,” a Singapore-based trader said.

Discussions for April loading and the intermonth spread between April and May were limited in the morning session, traders and brokers said.
May is priced at a backwardation of about $25/tonne to April, they said.

On Thursday, April benzene prices were assessed at $1,360-1,370/tonne FOB Korea, according to ICIS.

($1 = €0.76)

Author: Ong Sheau Ling

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