HOUSTON (ICIS)--US benzene contracts for July settled at $2.84/gal free on board (FOB) US Gulf, a decline of 15 cents/gal from June, as sufficient supplies weighed down prices.
The settlement was in line with market expectations and matched formula calculations based on spot deals from the last 10 days of the prior month.
US benzene contracts typically settle on the last working day of the prior month and are heavily influenced by late-month movements in spot prices.
The July contract represents the lowest monthly contract number since October. US benzene contracts hit a 12-month high in December and have declined in six of the first seven months of 2018.
Spot cargoes had traded lower for most of the month as globally sufficient inventory levels pushed down prices in spite of stronger crude oil futures. A series of styrene production issues also crimped benzene consumption.
Spot deals for July were heard last week in the range of $2.83-2.84/gal delivered duty paid (DDP).
Major US benzene producers include ExxonMobil, Flint Hills Resources, LyondellBasell, Marathon Petroleum, Shell and Phillips 66.
Pictured above is a benzene molecule. (Photo by Cultura/REX/Shutterstock)