US spot benzene-crude spread narrows

29 August 2016 19:30 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The spread between US spot benzene prices and upstream crude oil futures narrowed as values for both products fell, ICIS analysis showed on Monday.

The spread between the two products narrowed to $1.31/gal for the week ended 26 August, compared to $1.43/gal the prior week.

US spot benzene prices had dropped by 14 cents/gal for the week ended 26 August, as fewer domestic production issues were heard. Upstream NYMEX WTI crude oil futures had dropped by 88 cents/bbl (2 cents/gal) in the same week.

US benzene prices had been supported by limited imports in recent months but spiked during the week ended 19 August as production issues were heard at multiple domestic refineries. For the week ended 26 August, prices fell as fewer domestic production issues were heard.

However, limited imports continue to keep upward pressure on benzene values.

The benzene-crude ratio fell for the week ended 26 August to 2.16, down from 2.24 the prior week.

Major US benzene producers include ExxonMobil, Flint Hills Resources, LyondellBasell, Marathon Petroleum, Shell and Phillips 66.

By Jessie Waldheim