US chemical markets reaction mixed ahead of potential strike against Syria

29 August 2013 16:11  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Although the geopolitical concerns of a potential military strike against Syria by Western powers has helped to push NYMEX WTI and Brent crude higher, the reaction in US petrochemicals has been mixed, according to trade participants on Thursday.

Prices in the aromatics markets late on Wednesday were mostly stronger on the day, with trade participants pointing to concerns of a military conflict with Syria.

Prompt US benzene spot prices were at $4.38-4.44/gal ($1,311-1,329/tonne, €983-997/tonne) FOB (free on board) on Wednesday, sources said. The range was up from $4.36-4.39/gal FOB the previous session.

Current benzene spot prices this morning were down by 2 cents/gal but were still up from the previous week.

Meanwhile, buying interest for toluene and mixed xylene (MX) late on Wednesday was stronger. Prompt MX bid/offer levels were at $4.35-4.45/gal FOB, as bids firmed from $4.25/gal the previous day while offer levels were flat.

Prompt toluene bid/offers also narrowed to $4.00-4.10/gal FOB during the day with bids moving up from $3.95/gal the previous day.

The US olefins market, however, was mostly stable yesterday from the previous session.

August ethylene prices were steady as material traded at 55 cents/lb, flat with two trades the previous day.

August polymer-grade propylene (PGP) bid/offer levels narrowed to 66.50-67.75 cents/lb from 66.00-69.00 cents/lb the previous day.

($1 = €0.75)

By: Brian Balboa
+1 713 525 2653

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