ICIS has a network of locally based reporters providing coverage of regional Benzene markets. They provide not just pricing information, but an in-depth understanding of the factors driving prices and market fluctuations.
Updated to Q1 2021
Benzene supplies look to ease into Q1 amid the most recent advances in demand. As global styrene demand subsides from Q4 highs, domestic supply should lengthen to compensate from the surge. Historically low operating rates at refineries, however, could keep supplies in check going into the new year as producers cautiously weigh in on battered economics due to the pandemic.
After the recent surge in Q4 2020 buying activity created renewed optimism in downstream markets, benzene demand looks to ease in 2021. Increased confidence of deployed coronavirus vaccines should provide support to market sentiment at the beginning of the year, though increases in cases could also spur more lockdown measures. Imports from key producing Asia markets should remain strong as capacities rise into the next quarter.
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).
Benzene is a major chemical feedstock used to produce a number of other petrochemicals such as ethyl benzene (EB), styrene and solvents such as cumene, phenol and acetone.
The main sources of benzene are from the steam cracking or catalytic reforming of liquid petroleum feedstocks, primarily naphtha with benzene recovered from the aromatic stream.
Although benzene is mainly sourced from naphtha, crude and gasoline futures on NYMEX futures are also shown to be a key driver in the market at times.
Another factor that can influence the market is weather, especially in the summer. Much of the North American benzene production is concentrated in the US Gulf (USG), which is always vulnerable to hurricanes.
The ICIS US Gulf benzene report is used by some majors as a benchmark in the aromatics and petrochemicals sector. This is important because many companies trust ICIS and how we assess the market.
We publish a single contract number and we publish spot prices. That can affect the entire outlook for a month or quarter, or an entire year. The US Gulf report includes contract and weekly spot prices on a free-on-board (FOB) basis.
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