Asia benzene prices hit 23-week low on poor buying sentiment

19 March 2013 10:51  [Source: ICIS news]

SHANGHAI (ICIS)--Spot benzene prices in Asia fell to a 23-week low on Tuesday, in tandem with the lower US and China prices, market players said.

The weak prices in China and overseas market weighed on buying sentiment, they added.

On 19 March close, spot benzene prices were assessed as $1,250-1,260/tonne (€963-970/tonne) FOB (free on board) Korea for April cargoes and $1,235-1,250/tonne FOB Korea for May parcels, marking a eight successive full-day sessions of price decline, with a total cumulative loss of $85.50/tonne, or 6.4%, according to ICIS.

Absence of export cargoes from Asia’s major exporter South Korea to the US from 1-16 March depicted subdued demand from the US, because of the firm closure of arbitrage between Asia and US, industry players said.

Besides that, China import interest was hit as international prices hovered above the domestic levels, they added.

Sinopec announced late on 18 March that the list price in east China will be reduced by yuan (CNY) 300/tonne ($48.20/tonne) to CNY9,700/tonne EXW (ex-works), with effect from 19 March.

“Where is the bottom level? It is hard to say,” a South Korean trader said.

($1 = €0.77 , $1 = CNY6.22)

By: Ong Sheau Ling
+65 6780 4359

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