HOUSTON (ICIS)–The US November benzene contract price is expected to increase slightly from October, tracking a slightly firmer spot market, market sources said on Thursday.
The US October benzene contract price had settled at $2.11/gal, marking an end to two months of contract price declines. The October settlement also was one of the smaller month-on-month movements in 2015.
Another slight change is expected for the November settlement, as benzene spot prices have held generally steady through October.
Contract prices generally take direction from the spot market in the week prior to settlement. Spot deals this week have been heard in a range of $2.14-2.17/gal FOB (free on board), about 5-7 cents/gal higher than spot deals in the week prior to the October settlement.
Market participants expect the November settlement to be in the $2.15-2.17/gal range, up 4-6 cents/gal from October.
One market source had heard talk of a possible rollover, but added that with benzene spot prices tracking gains in upstream crude oil that November could settle as high as $2.20/gal, a 9 cents/gal increase over October.
The US benzene contract is typically settled on the last day of the previous month. The November contract is expected to settle on Friday.
Major US benzene producers include ExxonMobil, Flint Hills Resources, LyondellBasell, Marathon Petroleum, Shell and Phillips 66.
* average of split settlements