LONDON (ICIS)–Benzene prices in Asia may come under pressure in the second half of 2016 depending on the timing of new supply additions, according to the May 2017 to April 2017 ICIS Benzene and Styrene Asia Price Forecast Report.
New supply is due to come on-stream from Indian producers OPAL and Reliance along with Hyundai Chemical’s new condensate splitter-based benzene production.
The Asian market is currently fundamentally oversupplied, with excess benzene shipped out of the region to the US and Europe, the report from ICIS consulting says.
Its view is that benzene prices in Asia will follow crude with “healthy” benzene-naphtha spreads in the second quarter of 2016.
Spreads between styrene and benzene have narrowed and buyers are expected to be cautious in the coming months due to uncertain demand support from downstream markets.
The ICIS Consulting view continues to be that styrene prices will adjust to the low styrene benzene spreads in the second half of the year.