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.
How we can help
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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Price History – More information about the historical price data we publish on Benzene
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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 2015
The outlook for the European benzene market in the fourth quarter is essentially steady, with current oil and naphtha prices keeping a floor on pricing. While there has been slightly better demand from derivative markets, this will wind down as the year draws to a close. Any significant price movements will be driven by energy volatility rather than market fundamentals.
Asian supply is likely to remain long in the fourth quarter despite numerous South Korean plants scheduled for maintenance, as manufacturing from downstream slows down with major styrene and methyl di-p-phenylene isocyanate (MDI) makers entering into the turnaround season in China. Traders see positive attributes from US demand remaining stable for the fourth quarter amid healthy downstream operating rates and might see more cargoes offloaded to the US from South Korea despite a closed arbitrage window as Chinese spot purchasing interest is opportunistic.
US Gulf benzene spot prices moved into contango during the third quarter with the market expecting shortages during the fourth quarter. However, increased imports late in the third quarter have led to expectations of a build in already ample inventory levels. Downstream outages, including a styrene turnaround and the closing of a phenol plant, may help keep supply in the fourth quarter balanced to long and keep US benzene spot prices moderated. US benzene contract prices are expected to follow spot values.
News & analysis
Benzene news & analysis
Regional price assessments, published daily or weekly, enabling you to keep track of trading prices, understand price drivers/fluctuations and set a benchmark for contract price settlements. ICIS offers reports on over 180 commodities across the global petrochemical, energy and fertilizer markets. Information covered in our price reports includes:
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Market Studies & Analysis
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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General Benzene Methodology Consultation read more >
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.
Our in-depth market knowledge drives our specialist focus, as we recognise the importance of individual market dynamics and not a one-size-fits-all approach.
Over 25 years of reporting on key chemicals markets, including Benzene, has brought global recognition of our methodology as being unbiased, authoritative and rigorous in preserving our editorial integrity. Our global network of reporters in Houston, London, Singapore, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Mumbai, Perth and Moscow ensures unrivalled coverage of established and emerging markets.
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).
ICIS Benzene Price Index
US Benzene Prices were assessed at $2.75 - 2.83 / gal FOB (free on board) in mid June 2015. Downstream US styrene outages have depressed benzene prices whilst at the same time fuel blending demand has raised Prices for Toluene to $2.95-3.08/gal. This change has almost eliminated the spread between the two aromatics in the US for the first half of 2015.