Benzene reports are published weekly by ICIS in Asia, Europe and the US, and all show contract and spot price assessments, market news and analysis.
In Asia, there is also a daily report, and all three regions publish a monthly forecast report which includes Styrene and looks forward one year. These independent and unbiased reports are produced by our team of local price reporters. They will inform you of the key factors driving market prices, as well as giving you access to real time price alerts, providing you with the information you need to make confident commercial 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
Price forecasts - Concise monthly forward-looking market outlook reports, detailing prices, supply & demand and trade for the next 12 months.
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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 Q2 2016
European benzene prices saw some upward movement ahead of Q2 on the back of industry buying interest and a squeeze on prompt availability. Spot numbers have subsequently eased off alongside crude oil losses, but with various cracker and refinery outages in the second quarter, this could support pricing in the coming weeks. The market is likely to face ongoing pressure on prompt availability, as players adopt short positions given the macroeconomic bearishness and uncertainty.
US Gulf benzene spot prices had been trending higher late in the first quarter of 2016, amid limited imports and improving upstream crude oil values. Despite some weakening of upstream values, benzene imports remained limited early in the second quarter, but are likely to improve in the back half of Q2. Demand for benzene remained strong early in the second quarter, although turnarounds in downstream styrene in May and June may impact consumption rates in the back half of Q2.
Asia benzene spot prices are likely to drift within a tight range despite wide fluctuations in crude prices due to slow import demand with shortened supply in the beginning of the second quarter. China’s demand for benzene is likely continue to be steady into the second quarter, but with plants in Asia returning from turnaround towards the late half of the quarter, more supply might create downward pressure on prices should the arbitrage window to US remain closed.
News & analysis
Benzene news & analysis
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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.
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.