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 Q3 2020
Benzene supply will remain steady going into Q3. Production volumes from refineries through June stayed relatively low amid reduced run rates at refining facilities, although there has been some rebound in refinery rates since April lows. A major turnaround at a refinery with a large aromatics recovery unit will affect production going into the following quarter, yet supplies should be sufficient to meet market demand.
There will likely be an uptick in benzene demand in Q3 amid optimism of a reopening US economy and as derivative polystyrene demand for packaged goods persists. Recovery to pre-pandemic levels will be gradual as benzene demand slowly emerges since fundamentals stabilised going into early May.
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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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 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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