HOUSTON (ICIS)--US August benzene contracts settled up 4 cents/gal ($12/tonne), putting prices at $2.88/gal free on board (FOB) US Gulf.
An increase for August was expected, based on stronger spot prices during the second half of July.
US benzene contracts typically settle on the last working day of the month and are heavily influenced by late month movements in spot prices.
The benzene market has been more balanced recently following a period during which long global inventory levels had depressed prices.
Downstream styrene demand has also been stronger recently owing to an open arbitrage window between the US Gulf and Asia.
August spot deals were done on Monday at $2.93/gal and at $2.95/gal on a delivered duty paid (DDP) US Gulf basis.
Major US benzene producers include ExxonMobil, Flint Hills Resources, LyondellBasell, Marathon Petroleum, Shell and Phillips 66.