Europe benzene market driven by demand not supply

10 June 2013 11:07  [Source: ICIS news]

Europe benzeneLONDON (ICIS)--The European benzene market is currently being driven by demand as opposed to supply concerns this month, sources said on Monday.

Following a bullish 2012, with soaring prices supported by limited pygas (pyrolisis gasoline) availability, the first half of 2013 has seen pricing gradually edge downwards.

Global losses throughout the first quarter of 2013 weighed down on European pricing, and June spot levels have so far been rangebound in the mid $1,300s/tonne (€988/tonne).

Prices did move up in tandem with some higher numbers in the US last week, but idling oil futures and macroeconomic sentiment have kept the market from making any sizeable gains in June.

“The market is demand driven not supply driven,” explained one trader. “Demand is not that great either. It’s about who needs benzene when.”

Demand remains softer than expected given the time of year, but sources agreed this has been mitigated by balanced supply in Europe.

With material moving from Asia to the US, the market there remains well supplied. There is also up to 40,000 tonnes of material coming to Europe from the US, which will keep domestic supply balanced.

While the flooding of the Rhine and Danube rivers in central Europe has led to some delays, there has so far been no significant impact on the market.

“There have been some delays with trains due to the floods,” one source said. “Some barges aren’t loading on the Rhine, but so far these have been small delays and nothing critical.”

($1 = €0.76)

By: Truong Mellor
+44 208 652 3214

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