Benzene Prices, markets & analysis
With a network of price reporters across Asia, Europe and the US, ICIS is fully equipped to keep you updated on everything that happens in the global Benzene market, whether you buy or sell Benzene or related products.
From daily and weekly reports containing price assessments obtained by our network of local reporters, to the news and analysis that put the market into focus, we provide the tools you need to make confident business decisions.
Our editor gives their expert view
Benzene overview Transcript
Benzene is one of the key petrochemical markets it feeds into a lot of different products. It goes into styrenics and the phenolic chain. It’s used to manufacture a lot of different plastics, resins and nylon. So, as you can imagine, there’s a wide range of factors that can influence benzene pricing.
And it’s very much a global market as well, so you have to keep an eye on what’s happening in Asia and in the US. Because it is so far upstream it is very closely linked to the wider economy and even currency fluctuations. You’ve also got to look at crude and energy values and volatility there.
In Europe supply is also a key issue so we have to watch turnarounds and shutdowns for maintenance very carefully just to see how that affects availability in Europe and ultimately pricing.
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Benzene news and market information products from ICIS
We offer the following regional Benzene analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the Benzene marketplace.
Price Reporting – More information about the price reports we publish on Benzene
Independent price assessments and market coverage by region
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News & analysis
News & Analysis - News & market analysis specifically relating to Benzene
Breaking news of latest developments affecting the markets.
Insight and analysis of factors driving prices.
Benzene: Market overview
Updated to Q4 2014
Asia spot prices are likely to be under pressure heading into Q4 as there has been no news of operation cuts heard on regional aromatics units, due to the still-lucrative margins compared with upstream naphtha. Overall downstream run rates will remain reduced, with little interest shown by benzene buyers for spot cargoes because of a heavy schedule of turnarounds at benzene derivatives facilities in the September-November period.
The US benzene market was on the decline for much of Q3 and this was expected to continue into Q4, alongside weak demand from the downstream styrenics markets. Sources said with new production coming on line in Asia, the US market may continue to see good availability as well.
A year earlier, benzene spot prices had spiked in late Q4 because of short cover positions.
European prices are showing signs of weakness so far in October, alongside falling upstream energy numbers. While there are some cracker turnarounds in Q4 which could limit feedstock availability, these are spread out over the coming months, which is likely to mitigate any upward pressure on benzene pricing. Derivative demand remains weak, with persistent bearishness seen in the styrenics chain.
News & analysis
Benzene news & analysis
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ICIS publishes global annual studies, as well as dedicated reports on domestic China markets, which will help you navigate the complex petrochemical, oil and gas industries in the medium-to-long term. Our studies and reports provide expert analysis and forecast data on supply, demand, production and capacity for specific markets.
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ICIS price assessments are based on information gathered from a wide cross-section of the market, comprising consumers, producers, traders and distributors from more than 250 reporters world-wide. Confirmed deals, verified by both buyer and seller, provide the foundation of our price assessments.
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Benzene is a colourless, refractive liquid with a characteristic aromatic odour. Its vapour is toxic and highly flammable. In cold weather, benzene solidifies to a white crystalline mass. It is slightly soluble in water, miscible with ethyl alcohol, ether, acetone, carbon tetrachloride, carbon disulphide, and glacial acetic acid (GAA).
Benzene is the largest volume aromatic petrochemical used to produce a number of petrochemical intermediates.
Ethylbenzene (EB) is the largest chemical outlet for benzene and nearly all is consumed in the production of styrene.
The second largest outlet for benzene is cumene which is nearly all consumed in phenol production with acetone formed as a coproduct.
The third largest outlet for benzene is cyclohexane (CX) which finds its way primarily into the nylon chain via caprolactam and adipic acid.
The fourth main derivative of benzene is nitrobenzene, which can be used to make aniline.
Benzene is used to make a number of other chemical intermediates such as alkylbenzene used in detergents, maleic anhydride(unsaturated polyester resins) and chlorobenzenes (engineering polymers).
The main sources of benzene are from the steam cracking or catalytic reforming of liquid petroleum feedstocks, primarily naphtha, where the benzene is recovered from the aromatics stream. Other processes are hydrodealkylation (HDA) of toluene and toluene disproportionation (TDP).