US November benzene contracts decrease amid lengthy supply, low demand

Author: Tarun Raizada

2019/11/01

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US November benzene contracts settled lower, as bearish supply and demand fundamentals pushed spot prices lower in October.

Contracts decreased 37 cents/gal ($111/tonne) from October to $2.23/gal FOB (free on board) in the US Gulf.

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Spot prices decreased in October due to length in supply and slow downstream demand, despite volatility in crude values.

Although the spot arbitrage window from Asia to the US has closed, imports continue to play a role as increased supply weighs on the region and drives exports to the US.

US benzene contracts typically settle on the last working day of the prior month and are largely determined by the average spot price over the last 10 days of the month.

Benzene is used to produce a number of intermediates that are used to create polymers, solvents and detergents.

Major producers of US benzene include ExxonMobil, Marathon Petroleum, Shell, Flint Hills Resources, Chevron, CITGO,  LyondellBasell, Valero and Total.