The Urethane Blog

Spot Benzene Prices Fall


European benzene spot prices fall to $110/mt discount to May CP


London (Platts)–18May2015/729 am EDT/1129 GMT



Northwest European benzene spot prices have fallen to a $110/mt discount to the May contract price of $900/mt on the back of the demand gap left by turnarounds at downstream styrene monomer production plants, which has been pushing benzene prices down over the past week, sources said.

In the styrene market, an estimated 10% of Europe's 6.665 million mt/year capacity was expected to be offline for June.

Using industry estimated production ratios of 0.79 for benzene as a feedstock in the styrene production process, the lost benzene demand from styrene could be up to 44,000 mt for the month.

Northwest European benzene barges loading 5-30 days forward were assessed at $790/mt CIF ARA Friday, down $25/mt day on day and $81/mt week on week. Several trades were reported at the $790/mt level for both May and June on Friday.

The last time the spot price was at a bigger discount to the contract price was January 30 at $142.50/mt.

Despite the slump in prices, Europe remained the highest priced region, a source said, leaving no export opportunities out of the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp region.

"With little support coming from downstream demand and supply balanced, it looks like it will remain at these levels for a while," he said.

US June benzene prices were assessed at 255 cents/gal ($763/mt) DDP USG Friday, down 5 cents day on day.

Meanwhile Asian prices stand at $750.50/mt FOB Korea and $739.50/mt FOB Southeast Asia, both down $8/mt day on day.