EU benzene exports rise in April, May 2013

18 July 2013 17:35  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--EU benzene exports have seen a sharp rise year on year in both April and May 2013, according to data released by Eurostat on Thursday.

April 2013 exports from the EU to the rest of the world were up by 175% when compared to the same period last year, with bearish sentiment and a €62/tonne ($82/tonne) drop in the monthly contract price helping to open up the arbitrage window from Europe into other regions.

The sharp drop in exported volumes between April and May 2012 is also a reflection of the tightening market dynamic at the time, which saw prices move up steadily throughout the year on limited feedstock availability and healthy demand levels.

The increase in April this year follows on from the first quarter of 2013, which saw benzene exports fall by 50% year on year. Global benzene prices were on a steady decline from January to March this year, keeping arbitrage opportunities limited.

However, April saw some bullishness emerge for European benzene on a raft of production problems with both crackers and aromatics units, as well as lower inventory levels bringing buyers back into the market. This led to a sharp reduction on exports from the EU in May, although this still represented a 402% year on year gain for the month.

April imports into the EU were relatively steady from the same period last year, while May saw a sizable increase both year on year and from the previous month, as players from other regions sought to capitalise on the strong European market.

Import and export data by Eurostat (units: tonnes)

Period

IMPORT

EXPORT

April 2012

53,519

28,511

April 2013

58,119

78,349




Volume difference in tonnes 


4,600

49,838

% change year on year

8.6%

175%


Import and export data by Eurostat (units: tonnes)

Period

IMPORT

EXPORT

May 2012

40,964

1,796

May 2013

78,218

9,007




Volume difference in tonnes 


37,254

7,211

% change year on year

90.94%

402%

 


By: Truong Mellor
+44 208 652 3214



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