31 December 2013 10:27 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--The European benzene settlement for January has been confirmed at €994/tonne, up €37/tonne from the previous month, as the initial settlement received further support from players on Tuesday.
The contract was agreed at a US dollar concept of $1,373/tonne and converted to the euro price at the agreed exchange rate of €1:$1.3813.
Despite the end of the year traditionally being a slow month, some tightness for physical product in Europe and bullishness in the US helped support pricing throughout December.
Several traders commented that the number was largely expected, with a range of $1,370-1,375/tonne discussed for the January contract.
However, the outlook for the upcoming month was less certain, with diverging views among players about the possible direction of the market.
Some downstream players believe that European benzene has been overheated in the run-up to the January contract talks, and expect prices to ease in the New Year, while others believe that production concerns will keep availability limited.
“It seems logical to go short from a seasonal viewpoint, but the market is physically tight,” said one benzene trader.
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