(recast, clarifying in headline the contract is confirmed)
LONDON (ICIS)--The March European benzene contract has been agreed at €540/tonne, up €19/tonne from the previous settlement, sources confirmed on Friday.
The settlement was agreed at a US dollar concept of $611/tonne FOB (free on board) NWE (northwest Europe) and converted to the euro price at the agreed exchange rate of €1:$1.1317.
The benzene spot market saw a rallying towards the end of the week following a month largely characterised by no clear direction, with spot deals done as high as $635/tonne. There remains some length in the prompt market, however, which counteracted any major upturn in pricing.
“The market was overheated yesterday,” said one of the consumers involved in the settlement. “The market still has some length in it, and the styrene turnarounds won’t help.”
The benzene market in Asia is currently driving global price direction, with CFR (cost and freight) China prices around the $700/tonne mark. This is pulling exports from Korea as well as the US market.