China to get at least 40,000 tonnes of S Korea benzene in April

03 April 2013 11:25  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China is likely to receive at least 40,000 tonnes of South Korean benzene in April because of weak US demand, market players said on Wednesday.

Reduced demand from the US – Asia’s key benzene outlet – is forcing northeast Asian suppliers to divert their cargoes to China, they said.

The US is in long supply of benzene, while the window for arbitrage trades from Asia to the US has remained closed, market players said.

“We have sold a lot to China in March and April,” a major South Korean aromatics producer said.

In March, South Korea exported 40,100 tonnes of benzene to China, representing a 91.6% surge from the previous month, while its shipments to the US declined by 35.0% month on month to 42,8221 tonnes, according to industry estimates.

“Based on the volumes booked for April, the total volumes will be more than 40,000 tonnes,” a northeast Asian trader said.

However, players are concerned about tank space in China, which is nearly full.

“Perhaps some dealt cargoes [from South Korea] for April loading will be delayed because of the lack of tank space,” another northeast Asian trader said.

Author: Ong Sheau Ling

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