01 August 2013 10:07 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--The European August benzene contract has been confirmed at €946/tonne, down €32/tonne from the previous month, as the initial settlement received further support from players on Thursday.
“I have confirmed this number with all suppliers,” said one consumer.
The contract was agreed at a US dollar concept of $1,257/tonne FOB (free on board) NWE (northwest Europe) and converted to the euro price at the agreed exchange rate of €1:$1.3288.
Benzene prices in July reached a yearly low of $1,210/tonne CIF (cost, insurance & freight) ARA (Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp) on ample availability and weak derivative offtake.
Although the spot market saw some upward movement towards the end of last week, with August deals done as high as $1,270/tonne, prices subsequently edged back down ahead of the contract settlement, with deals done at $1,250-1,255/tonne on Tuesday 30 July.
A weaker US dollar against the euro also helped mitigate the downward trend is dollar terms this month.
Looking ahead, the European benzene market is already in a clear contango into the fourth quarter.
Offers for fourth-quarter material have been seen at $1,300/tonne CIF ARA, but not met with any firm bids yet.
Several players noted that some scheduled cracker shutdowns planned for the second half of the year could potentially lead to feedstock supply disruption, in what remains a structurally tight global market.
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