HOUSTON (ICIS)–The US January benzene contract has settled at $2.20/gal, the lowest price in nearly six years, sources said on Tuesday.
The settlement is down by 34.7% from the December benzene contract settlement, as plummeting crude oil futures have weighed heavily on the benzene market. This was the sixth consecutive month that the contract declined.
Additionally, demand has been weak, creating an oversupplied market, sources said.
This is the lowest benzene contract settlement since May 2009, when the price was $1.90/gal. That was only a few months removed from the 2008 US recession, when the price of energy crashed.
Current spot benzene prices were in the range of $2.00-2.05/gal early on Tuesday, down by more than a $1.00/gal from the price on 1 December 2014.
Sources said they expected the contract to be substantially weaker because of the steep decline in spot prices.