US September/October benzene bids in backwardation

23 August 2013 15:48  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Prompt US benzene spot bids on Friday appeared at a slight backwardation to forward month September spot prices, ahead of upcoming turnarounds planned for September and October, according to market participants.

US benzene supply has been long and readily available since January, while prompt benzene spot prices have been in contango with forward month spot levels.

But with a number of turnarounds set for September and October, demand has picked up as market participants make preparations.

The stronger demand has pushed prices higher throughout the month.

Current prompt benzene spot prices were at $4.37-4.40/gal ($1,308-1,317/tonne) FOB (free on board) for September, while October benzene spot prices were at $4.35-4.40/gal FOB.

Although September and October offers were at parity, the October bids were 2 cents/gal below October bids.

The prompt range was up from $4.15-4.19/gal FOB on 1 August.

Although the September/October market appeared backwardated on bids, a few benzene traders have said this may be shorted lived and the market will get back to a clear contango market.

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