Benzene reports are published weekly by ICIS in Asia, Europe and the US, with contract and spot price assessments, market news and analysis.
Benzene forecast reports for all three regions are published on a monthly basis, covering the market up to one year ahead. Monthly forecast reports are also available for the Styrene market.
Our editor gives their expert view
Benzene overview Transcript
Benzene is one of the key petrochemical markets it feeds into a lot of different products. It goes into styrenics and the phenolic chain. It’s used to manufacture a lot of different plastics, resins and nylon. So, as you can imagine, there’s a wide range of factors that can influence benzene pricing.
And it’s very much a global market as well, so you have to keep an eye on what’s happening in Asia and in the US. Because it is so far upstream it is very closely linked to the wider economy and even currency fluctuations. You’ve also got to look at crude and energy values and volatility there.
In Europe supply is also a key issue so we have to watch turnarounds and shutdowns for maintenance very carefully just to see how that affects availability in Europe and ultimately pricing.
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Benzene news and market information products from ICIS
We offer the following regional Benzene analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the Benzene marketplace.
Price Reporting – More information about the price reports we publish on Benzene
Independent price assessments and market coverage by region
Price forecasts - Concise monthly forward-looking market outlook reports, detailing prices, supply & demand and trade for the next 12 months.
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Price History – More information about the historical price data we publish on Benzene
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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.
Benzene: Market overview
Updated to Q1 2017
US Gulf benzene spot and contract prices began the first quarter in 2017 on a sharp uptrend following domestic supply issues late in 2016 and low import levels in January. Prices continued climbing early in January despite a turnaround in the downstream styrene market. However, the upward momentum may not hold with two more turnarounds planned at US Gulf styrene plants in the first quarter.
European benzene prices opened the year on a bullish note, with spot numbers gaining ground rapidly amid limited prompt supply. However, there are various downstream styrene outages on the horizon in the first quarter in Europe and the US, which could limit consumption by February. The direction for pricing will also heavily depend on how crude oil values shape up in the first quarter.
Asia benzene spot prices rose sharply in early January, with uncertainty in price direction as traders remain unclear whether bullish factors from China’s strong demand and tightness in US spot market could extend price increases further and whether downstream prices would be able to follow to sustain gains in benzene prices. Japan will be moving into heavy turnaround season late i nteh second quarter while supply could be compensated with a lighter turnaround in Korea this year.
News & analysis
Benzene news & analysis
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Benzene is a colourless, refractive liquid with a characteristic aromatic odour. Its vapour is toxic and highly flammable. In cold weather, benzene solidifies to a white crystalline mass. It is slightly soluble in water, miscible with ethyl alcohol, ether, acetone, carbon tetrachloride, carbon disulphide, and glacial acetic acid (GAA).
Benzene is the largest volume aromatic petrochemical used to produce a number of petrochemical intermediates.
Ethylbenzene (EB) is the largest chemical outlet for benzene and nearly all is consumed in the production of styrene.
The second largest outlet for benzene is cumene which is nearly all consumed in phenol production with acetone formed as a coproduct.
The third largest outlet for benzene is cyclohexane (CX) which finds its way primarily into the nylon chain via caprolactam and adipic acid.
The fourth main derivative of benzene is nitrobenzene, which can be used to make aniline.
Benzene is used to make a number of other chemical intermediates such as alkylbenzene used in detergents, maleic anhydride(unsaturated polyester resins) and chlorobenzenes (engineering polymers).
The main sources of benzene are from the steam cracking or catalytic reforming of liquid petroleum feedstocks, primarily naphtha, where the benzene is recovered from the aromatics stream. Other processes are hydrodealkylation (HDA) of toluene and toluene disproportionation (TDP).
ICIS Benzene Price Index
US Benzene Prices were assessed at $2.75 - 2.83 / gal FOB (free on board) in mid June 2015. Downstream US styrene outages have depressed benzene prices whilst at the same time fuel blending demand has raised Prices for Toluene to $2.95-3.08/gal. This change has almost eliminated the spread between the two aromatics in the US for the first half of 2015.