The Urethane Blog

Benzene Update


US benzene prices are expected to remain steady this week following the settlement of the August benzene CP. The August benzene CP fell 13 cents to settle at 254 cents/gal. The lower CP should bode well for styrene producers who wrestled with high costs in July. Demand from the styrene segment is expected to be steady in the near term, although consumption should improve throughout the latter part of the year with multiple European styrene producers poised to carry out turnarounds. Supply-side conditions are unlikely to change, with benzene remaining contingent upon imports amid poor toluene conversion economics. Prompt spot toluene prices fell over the past week, however weakness in both benzene and paraxylene was expected to keep margins in negative territory. Mixed xylene prices were expected to remain soft on continued weak downstream demand from the paraxylene segment. US spot paraxylene prices were not expected to see much upside amid market length and waning seasonal demand along the PET chain.