Ethylbenzene Prices, markets & analysis
ICIS provides independent and unbiased pricing information, news and market analysis for the global Ethylbenzene market. Our network of price reporters, based in Asia, Europe and the US, deliver local insight for each of these markets, which is published in our individual weekly and daily price reports.
If you buy or sell Ethylbenzene or related products, our reports, news and market intelligence will give you the prices and analysis of the factors driving the prices that you need to make confident commercial decisions.
Our editor gives their expert view
Ethylbenzene Overview Transcript
Ethylbenzne is a product that is made typically by catalytic alkylisation of benzene with ethylene it’s a product used in the production of styrene monomer.
However, in North America it is mostly a captive market leaving very little for the merchant market. And of course, the key drivers of this market come from its two major feedstocks: ethylene and benzene.
ICIS has a spot price for US Gulf ethylbenzene, which is calculated using an industry-based formula, and market information that we gather from market sources.
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Ethylbenzene: Market overview
Updated to Q3 2015
A reduction on the July styrene barge settlement and some upward movement on the benzene contract has narrowed the spread for EB/SM (styrene monomer) production. However, the spot market for styrene remains volatile, with some short covering pushing prices back up this month. Meanwhile, benzene has drifted below the contract settlement level amid crude losses, macroeconomic uncertainty and weaker global markets.
This is keeping the benzene/styrene spread in Europe healthy into Q3. The outlook for July and August is still sluggish overall, owing to the summer holiday season. This should weigh down on styrene prices until September, when some shutdowns in both Europe and abroad could potentially tighten global availability. Meanwhile, wider economic uncertainty is keeping global benzene sentiment muted into the third quarter. There had been some expectation that increased derivative consumption from China could tighten global benzene availability. However, with the spread between toluene and benzene in the US widening, this would support on-purpose benzene production.
There is also some uncertainty about ethylene direction in Europe following the spate of cracker turnarounds recently seen. While the market is beginning to stabilise now, there are still questions about production output for the rest of 2015.
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Ethyl Benzene Methodology
Ethylbenzene (EB) is a colourless liquid, with a pungent aromatic odour. It is practically insoluble in water but soluble in ethyl alcohol, ether and benzene.
Nearly all EB output is used in the production of styrene monomer, which is then used in many homopolymer, copolymer and terpolymer applications. These applications cover a wide scope of industrial, consumer and medical products.
Ethylbenzene is also used in the production of synthetic rubber, as a component of automotive and aviation fuels and in the manufacture of cellulose acetate. It is utilised as a solvent or diluent for alkyd surface coatings, and as a chemical intermediate for diethylbenzene and acetophenone, ethyl anthraquinone, EB sulphonic acids, and alpha-methylbenzyl alcohol.