US September benzene contract down as supply improves

Author: Brian Balboa

2014/09/02

US September benzene contract down as supply improvesHOUSTON (ICIS)--The September benzene contract was agreed to at a split settlement of $4.69-4.70/gal ($1,404-1,407/tonne), according to trade sources on Tuesday. The split settlement, which took place late Friday, was down by 36-37 cents/gal from the August contract price of $5.06/gal FOB (free on board).

The lower US September benzene contract, which represented the second consecutive monthly decline, was in line with market expectations following the recent drop in spot prices alongside improved supply conditions.

Expectations for the September benzene contract emerged within a range of $4.70-4.75/gal FOB last week, below the August benzene contract price.

Prices have come down the past two weeks, on aggressive selling from a seller that may have needed to sell off material or sought to take a bearish position. Declining energy and continued imports looking to move to the US also supported the overall decline on the week.

Reduced downstream styrene operating rates could also have an impact on the feedstock benzene market. With some styrene producers down and unable to take benzene as feedstock, it could leave benzene supply long

Current benzene spot prices are at $4.58-4.64/gal, also below August and September benzene contract prices.

US September benzene contract down as supply improves