Benzene Prices, markets & analysis
ICIS has a network of locally based reporters providing coverage of regional Benzene markets. They provide not just pricing information, but an in-depth understanding of the factors driving prices and market fluctuations.
Use ICIS information to:
- Develop internal analytical models
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- Optimise deals and negotiations
Benzene US Transcript
Benzene is a major chemical feedstock used to produce a number of other petrochemcials such as ethyl benzene, styrene and solvents such as cumene, phenol and acetone.
Main sources of benzene are from the steam-cracking or catatlytic reforming of liquid petroleum feedstocks, primarily naphtha where benzene is recovered from the aromatics stream.
Now although benzene is mainly sourced from naphtha, crude and gasoline futures on NYMEX have also shown to be much more key driver on the market at times.
Other factors that can influence on the market is the weather, especially in the summer time. Much of the North American benzene production is concentrated in the US Gulf, which is always vulnerable to hurricanes. A couple of examples of this are hurricanes Rita and Katrina in the summer of 2006. That took a lot of US Gulf production off line. We saw this again in the summer of 2008 with Hurricane Ike.
Benzene can also be influenced by strong downstream demand from the styrene sector.
The ICIS US Gulf benzene report is used by some majors as a benchmark in the aromatic petrochemicals sector. This is important because many companies trust ICIS and how we assess the market.
They can pretty much base their business and really put it in our hand because we publish a single contract number and we publish spot prices. Now that can influence their outlook for an entire month or quarter or an entire year. The US Gulf report includes contract prices and weekly spot prices on an free on board (FOB) basis.
Benzene news and market information products from ICIS
We offer the following regional Benzene coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the US Benzene marketplace.
Price Reporting – More information about the price reports we publish on Benzene
Independent price assessments and market coverage
Price History – More information about the historical price data we publish on Gas
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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.
Updated to Q1 2015
US Gulf benzene spot pricing increased by 30% during the first quarter of 2015, rising to a mid-range of $2.60/gal FOB (free on board) from a start of $2.00/gal largely on tight supply from strong derivative styrene demand and insufficient benzene imports, particularly from Asia as the arbitrage window there remained closed at the end of the period.
Contract benzene prices were inconsistent, moving down sharply to $2.20/gal in January on plummeting crude oil values as the new year began. The contract fell again in February to a record low of $2.01/gal, and then increased in March to a rare split settlement of $2.04-2.08/gal. Sources broadly expected the April contract to increase significantly on month-ending spot values.
Crude oil values, which heavily influence benzene prices, fluctuated during the quarter, but bookended the period, finishing at nearly $49/bbl versus about $45.50/bbl at the outset. Sources said benzene somewhat decoupled from crude oil as supply-demand fundamentals prevailed.
Tight downstream styrene monomer supply pressured benzene pricing as healthy styrene demand from coatings, plastics and tyres was anticipated amid strong export demand that took large volumes offshore.
Benzene is a major chemical feedstock used to produce a number of other petrochemicals such as ethyl benzene (EB), styrene and solvents such as cumene, phenol and acetone.
The main sources of benzene are from the steam cracking or catalytic reforming of liquid petroleum feedstocks, primarily naphtha with benzene recovered from the aromatic stream.
Although benzene is mainly sourced from naphtha, crude and gasoline futures on NYMEX futures are also shown to be a key driver in the market at times.
Another factor that can influence the market is weather, especially in the summer. Much of the North American benzene production is concentrated in the US Gulf (USG), which is always vulnerable to hurricanes.
The ICIS US Gulf benzene report is used by some majors as a benchmark in the aromatics and petrochemicals sector. This is important because many companies trust ICIS and how we assess the market.
We publish a single contract number and we publish spot prices. That can affect the entire outlook for a month or quarter, or an entire year. The US Gulf report includes contract and weekly spot prices on a free-on-board (FOB) basis.
ICIS collects pricing data on a wide range of chemical, energy and fertilizer products, including Benzene. Our extensive experience in price reporting means we can offer you access to historical data dating back more than 20 years for certain commodities.
Our time series of pricing data enables you to build and model trends, to get a view of where markets might be heading. The data service includes charting functionality, allowing you to chart and download multiple data series for manipulation in your own internal models. You can also export data to Excel via the ICIS dashboard service.
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.
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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.