Asia benzene surges to 41-week high on US market overnight rally

18 December 2013 11:20  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Spot benzene prices in Asia jumped to a 41-week high on Wednesday, tracking strong gains in the US market overnight, industry sources said.

Prices were assessed at $1,355-1,365/tonne FOB (free on board) for January cargoes and at $1,345-1,350/tonne FOB Korea for February parcels, up $25-35/tonne from Tuesday’s close, according to ICIS.

Upbeat market sentiment caused a flurry of deals to be concluded in the $1,344-1,348/tonne FOB Korea range for February cargoes, and at $1,335-1,338/tonne FOB Korea for March loading, market players said.

US spot prices closed at $4.85-5.00/gal FOB US Gulf for prompt barges on 17 December, by up $0.23-0.25/gal from the previous day, ICIS reported.

“The arbitrage window between Asia and the US is widely open,” a South Korean trader said.

The current price gap in the two markets is at above $100/tonne – more than sufficient to cover the sea freight of $55-60/tonne from South Korea to the US for a 15,000-tonne vessel, the trader said.

($1 = €0.73)

Author: Ong Sheau Ling

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