With China’s Benzene prices moving in different directions, it is critical for market players to be informed on the changing dynamics and market sentiments. Published and derived by our local industry experts, our on-the-ground price reporting, insights and data analytics solutions provide the following:
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Updated to Q4 2018
Domestic petroleum benzene prices in China rose in July, rose again after a sharp drop in August and then fluctuated within a narrow range during September.
In July, import prices remained firm, lifting domestic market sentiment. This, together with tight spot supply in east China and improved buying interest, resulted in fewer lower-priced cargoes available in the market. In addition, traders chose to lift offers to cover incremental import costs because of a slide in the value of the yuan.
At the beginning of August, market sentiment was undermined by a bearish crude oil market and softer import prices. Downstream producers were reluctant to buy due to the pessimistic price outlook and modest inventory levels. A lack of bids weighed on domestic petroleum benzene offers at the low end. However, from mid August, overseas benzene prices rose on the back of a rally in crude oil prices. This, together with tighter supply in the spot market, improved sentiment. Most cargo holders kept offers stable and a few buyers lifted their bids.
As a result of the mid-autumn Festival from 15-17 September, downstream producers proved unwilling to make purchases. This, together with narrow fluctuations in crude oil and overseas benzene prices, forced domestic cargo holders into a wait-and-see stance. Their offers were largely unchanged. Limited discussions resulted in only a few done deals. During this period, most market players kept a close eye on crude oil prices, plant operations and the pricing ideas of major domestic producers.
Sinopec raised its benzene list price 3 times during July – by CNY150/tonne, CNY150/tonne and CNY100/tonne, respectively. However, on 2 August, it cut benzene list prices by CNY200/tonne, and by CNY100/tonne on 3 separate occassions during the month. At the end of Q3, the east China benzene market closed at CNY5,300-5,350/tonne (ex-tank Zhangjiagang), which was CNY500 higher at the low end and CNY550 higher at the high end when compared with June’s figures.
We offer the following regional Benzene analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the China Benzene marketplace.
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Benzene is used primarily as a raw material in the synthesis of styrene (polystyrene plastics and synthetic rubber).
ICIS publishes weekly pricing information for China’s volatile benzene markets. The report gives you access to the latest import CFR China main ports and domestic ex-tank prices for a more reflective view of the market.
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Together with each pricing report subscription, ICIS now provides the following diagnostic and prescriptive solutions for China benzene, to help you make critical business decisions in and out of China and plan for the future:
The ICIS Supply and Demand Database provides a single, highly searchable source of detailed historical data as far back as 1978 and forecast data up until 2040 for benzene in China. The service combines fully reconciled supply/demand, trade, capacity and ownership data to give you multiple views of the market from a global, regional or country-specific perspective.
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