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
Track historical price data
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 2016
US Gulf benzene spot prices in Q4 are expected to be steady to softer than Q3. US benzene imports are expected to be at adequate levels for the remainder of the year, unlike the low levels seen in Q2 and Q3 which drove benzene prices to a 2016 high point. Additionally, downstream markets tend to slow during North American winters which further ease the recent upward pressure on benzene prices.
European benzene prices have proven to be steady so far in October around the contract price settlement agreed in late September. Players in the region do not expect to see any significant movement on spot levels for the rest of the year. Derivative consumption is steady albeit at a lower than expected level, and activity is expected to slow down as the year-end draws closer.
Asia benzene prices might be under downward pressure from an increase in supply due to the start-up of Hyundai Chemical’s 500,000 tonne/year benzene plant in South Korea in mid-October. At the time of writing, Chinese import demand was expected to pick up after the Golden Week holiday amid low shore tank inventories. However, demand from southeast Asia will be largely subjected to the restart of Shell’s cracker.
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:
- Spot and contract price assessments
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Price forecast services
Produced by the ICIS Consulting team, these reports give a robust rolling 12-month price forecast, trade balances and in-depth analysis into where markets are heading – providing a valuable tool to support your short- to medium-term plans.
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The Supply and Demand Window on the ICIS Dashboard provides a snapshot view of historical and forecast information for supply and demand, production capacity and trade flows – a key tool to help safeguard future investments within the chemicals market.
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ICIS provides specialist training courses across the global petrochemicals, base oils and fertilizers industries. Our training team of industry experts can help you increase your knowledge of the industry and gain the insight and know-how needed to operate and trade effectively.
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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.