LONDON (ICIS)--Confidence for future order book volumes in the European benzene chain was sharply up in September from the previous month, analysis of the ICIS Chemical Market Confidence Index (CMCI) showed Wednesday.
Current order book volumes were also higher, albeit by a more modest amount, as was sentiment for future business conditions. Profitability, both current and future, was flat while business conditions compared to 12 months ago moved down slightly.
Benzene is hard to judge, with the spread over naphtha currently around $300 which is where it has averaged this year but demand has not been great in September.
The overall September CMCI hinted at stabilising conditions for the European chemicals sector as a whole after several volatile months, but improvements for business condition expectations and current profitability remained modest.The newly established ICIS Europe CMCI aggregates sentiment from hundreds of petrochemical market players actively involved in price negotiations across more than 60 different markets.
The Europe CMCI runs from +100, to -100, with zero on each index representing neutral, or uncertain conditions, a negative score indicating bearish expectations and a positive score representing bullish expectations. The indices also gather sentiment on the comparison between the current situation and the situation across the past 12 months to give a complete picture of current market conditions and confidence. The information is gathered in the third week of each month. A full methodology is available on request.
For more details on the overall Europe CMCI data, click here