Europe March benzene confirmed at €1,054/tonne

01 March 2013 10:47 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)--The March European benzene contract has been confirmed at €1,054/tonne, up €14/tonne from the previous month, sources said on Friday, as the initial settlement received further support from players.

The contract was agreed on a US dollar concept of $1,380/tonne FOB (free on board) NWE (northwest Europe) and converted to the euro price at the agreed exchange rate of €1:$1.3093.

While the settlement reflects a $28/tonne drop in US dollar terms in an increasingly bearish European market, the buyer noted that the weak euro meant that the euro number moved up from February.

“There was some debate as usual,” one seller said. “Eventually, there was a consensus reached that the market was happy with, given the current spot levels.”

European benzene prices have gradually eased off during February, with the market expected to further soften in the coming months as several styrene turnarounds lead to a reduction in offtake.

While there was a brief rallying seen towards the end of February, as producers curtailed output in anticipation of lower demand, a sharp plunge in Brent crude futures and a corresponding downturn in Asia and the US quickly dampened the emerging bullishness.

By Truong Mellor