Asia spot benzene hits eight-week high on firmer US market

14 August 2013 12:15  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Spot benzene prices in Asia hit an eight-week high on Wednesday, buoyed by the gains seen in the US market, coupled with an early-week hike in crude futures, players said.

At the close of trade, prices were assessed at $1,255-1,263/tonne FOB (free on board) Korea for September cargoes, representing gains of $19-23/tonne so far this week, according to ICIS.

Overnight, benzene prices in the US rose by 4-9 cents/gal to $4.28-4.30/gal for prompt barges.

“Crude jumped a couple of dollars yesterday - that lifted sentiment,” a South Korean trader said.

“Sentiment seems to be the main driver despite longer supply,” a Singapore-based trader said.

More spot Indian and Middle East cargoes were offered this week into China, traders said, adding that Chinese importers were also keen to import, with buying ideas largely kept at $1,255-1,265/tonne CFR (cost and freight) China, depending on origin.

“Chinese import interest rekindled this week, but it may not be sustainable if FOB Korea prices surge further,” a Chinese trader said.

($1 = €0.75)

Author: Sheau Ling Ong

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