The Urethane Blog

Strong Demand for Polystyrene Propping Benzene Prices

Strong demand supports higher US benzene-crude ratio


Houston (Platts)–10 Feb 2016 517 pm EST/2217 GMT



The US benzene-crude ratio has support at its current mark of 2.65, despite declining crude, because of strong benzene derivative styrene demand, market sources said Wednesday.

"The industry has been acceptable to a higher average because of current market fundamentals," a trader source said.

While US benzene supply has been ample because of shipment arrivals from Asia, consistently tight styrene supply in the US has kept benzene demand strong and softened price declines against falling crude.

So far this year, the benzene-crude ratio has seen its lowest level at 2.41, based on Platts data. The industry accepted average in 2015 was around 2, and for years prior to 2015 it was 1.8, sources said.

US spot benzene prompt-month pricing was assessed Tuesday at $1.76/gal ($526/mt) FOB US Gulf Coast, while NYMEX crude settled at $27.94/b.

–John Calton,
–Edited by Derek Sands,