Europe Dec benzene gains further support, confirmed at €957/tonne

02 December 2013 10:43 Source:ICIS News

Price riseLONDON (ICIS)--The European December benzene contract has been confirmed at €957/tonne, up €109/tonne from the previous month, as the initial settlement late last week received further support from players on Monday.

The contract was agreed at a US dollar concept of $1,301/tonne FOB (free on board) NWE (northwest Europe) and converted to the euro price at the agreed exchange rate of €1:$1.3595.

Despite slower demand among key derivative markets ahead of December and the holiday period, some tightness on feedstock availability has supported a sharp upturn in pricing towards the end of last month, and a sizable increase had been predicted.

Even with several crackers coming back online after maintenance turnarounds, there remains a backlog in the supply chain which is keeping availability tight at least for prompt material.

“A lot of material left Europe in October and November,” one source added. “Now the front end of December is very tight.”

The fire at Chevron’s Pascagoula refinery in Mississippi also saw a spike in US pricing, and has pulled significant volumes out of Europe as players look to ship cargo to the region.

Sources in the phenolic chain have expressed concern that a sizable increase for benzene could not be supported by the market in December, which is traditionally the slowest month of the year in terms of demand.

By Truong Mellor