Corrected: Asia benzene hits six-week low on weak sentiment

03 June 2013 10:32  [Source: ICIS news]

Correction: In the ICIS news story headlined "Asia benzene hits lowest in more than 9 months on weak sentiment" dated 3 June 2013, please read in the headline ... six-week low ... instead of ... lowest in more than 9 months ... and in the first paragraph ... six-week low ... instead of ... a 37-week low... A corrected story follows.

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Spot benzene prices in Asia plunged to a six-week low on Monday, undermined by bearish market sentiment, traders said.

Prices were assessed at $1,275-1,277/tonne (€982-983/tonne) FOB (free on board) Korea at the close of trade, down by $10-11/tonne from 31 May, according to ICIS, following two deals for July loading done at $1,275/tonne FOB Korea.

Lower crude futures, coupled with persistent weakness in China’s domestic market and a closed Asia-to-US arbitrage window weighed on regional prices, traders said.

“With prices falling, some players are considering to sell, but they feel such price level is too low,” a South Korean trader said, explaining dwindling discussions in the market.

Chinese import interest was tepid because of a wide gap between domestic and regional FOB Korea prices.

On 31 May, spot prices in US Gulf were settled at $4.32-4.35/gal FOB for prompt barges, squeezing the premium to Asian material to around $20/tonne from $30-50/tonne for most of last month, according to ICIS.

Spot prices in Asia largely hovered at $1,280-1,300/tonne FOB Korea last month, ICIS data showed.

($1 = €0.77)

Author: Ong Sheau Ling

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