US spot benzene-crude spread narrows

26 September 2016 20:20 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The spread between US spot benzene prices and upstream crude oil futures narrowed last week, ICIS analysis showed on Monday.

The spread between the two products narrowed to $1.23/gal for the week ended 23 September, compared to $1.31/gal the prior week.

US spot benzene prices had moved about 4 cents/gal lower as supply from domestic on-purpose production and from imported material improves.

Low levels of imports and reduced on-purpose production had kept prices elevated from June through most of August. However, on-purpose production rates have been heard higher and import levels are expected to be increasing in late September.

Upstream, US benchmark WTI crude oil futures at the close of 23 September were higher by $1.45/bbl (3.5 cents/gal) than the prior week.

The benzene-crude ratio moved lower for the week ended 23 September to 2.16, down from 2.27 the prior week.

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

By Jessie Waldheim