US spot benzene-styrene spread widens

17 October 2016 19:42 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The spread between US spot styrene and feedstock US spot benzene widened last week as styrene prices rose and benzene prices fell, ICIS analysis showed on Monday.

The spread between the two products for the week ended 14 October was 12.99 cents/lb ($286/tonne), up from 11.56 cents/lb the prior week.

US spot benzene prices moved lower last week amid limited buying interest and a quiet market. Benzene values had been moving generally downward since September as import levels and domestic on-purpose production increase. However, in early October benzene values were supported by strengthening upstream crude oil values. Last week, volatility in crude oil markets offered less support for benzene prices.

Meanwhile, US spot styrene prices had been moving higher amid climbing prices in Asia, a frequent export market for US styrene, but US prices jumped late last week after a fire at a styrene plant in Louisiana.

By Jessie Waldheim