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.
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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 Q2 2018
Supply expected to increase as Petro Rabigh II (Saudi) achieved on-spec material in late March and could have cargoes coming to Asia in May. Vietnam's Nghi Son Refinery to have commercial cargoes in May, which is expected to add on to supply in the region. Most turnarounds in February and March will be completed in April with production across the region more or less normal.
No significant improvement in demand expected in the second quarter with spot appetite likely to stay tepid. Turnarounds at regional styrene and phenol plants will not boost demand for benzene while US consumption of Asia benzene is expected to stay soft as well, despite the available East-West arbitrage window.
A part of the market thought that the second quarter of the year would be tighter due to a number of cracker turnarounds that would take place from March onwards. So far, one turnaround has been completed and another one postponed, while players assume that the rest of European crackers are running flat out, despite some unplanned issues that have been quickly resolved. The next planned turnaround is due to start in the second half of April and it remains to be seen if it will have any impact on benzene availability.
The downtrend of European prices is believed to have been driven mainly by the weak demand over the past few weeks from the downstream styrene turnaround season was unfolding. As this period near completion with only one small unit left to go offline in Europe in April, consumption is expected to pick up and prices to strengthen as a result.
US benzene supply should improve into the second quarter as the recovery from severe winter weather along the US Gulf will lead to rising refinery operating rates, as will the start of the US driving season.
While three US styrene producers will be out at the start of the second quarter, the plants are likely to restart within the quarter, thereby boosting benzene demand. Several downstream consumption sectors will see stronger demand as they begin to shift into their high seasons.
News & analysis
Benzene news & analysis
Regional price assessments, published daily or weekly, enabling you to keep track of trading prices, understand price drivers/fluctuations and set a benchmark for contract price settlements. ICIS offers reports on over 180 commodities across the global petrochemical, energy and fertilizer markets. Information covered in our price reports includes:
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Price forecast services
Produced by the ICIS Consulting team, these reports give a robust rolling 12-month price forecast, trade balances and in-depth analysis into where markets are heading – providing a valuable tool to support your short- to medium-term plans.
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ICIS price assessments are based on information gathered from a wide cross-section of the market, comprising consumers, producers, traders and distributors from more than 250 reporters world-wide. Confirmed deals, verified by both buyer and seller, provide the foundation of our price assessments.
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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.