Europe July benzene confirmed up €99/t at €1,076/tonne

01 July 2014 09:23 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)--The July European benzene contract has been agreed at €1,076/tonne, up €99/tonne from the previous month, as the initial settlement received further support from players on Tuesday.

The July settlement was agreed at a US dollar concept of $1,466/tonne FOB (free on board) NWE (northwest Europe) and converted to the euro price at the agreed exchange rate of €1:$1.36245.

A sizable increase had been expected for the July contract, given the gains in spot pricing over the course of June in tandem with rising US numbers and exports from Europe for both benzene, as well as pygas tightening the front end of the market in particular.

While benzene prices in the US have soared recently, several players in Europe are uncertain whether they are sustainable at current levels without corresponding support from downstream markets.

Similarly, the key downstream styrene market in Europe has failed to keep pace with the gains seen for benzene, amid subdued derivative offtake and healthy regional availability.

Several styrene market players felt that it would be difficult for the European market to absorb the higher cost of raw materials this month. The July styrene barge contract settlement is expected later on Tuesday.

By Truong Mellor