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Asian benzene hit the highest seen in almost three months

July 29/2011

(ICIS) -- Asias benzene values hit the highest seen in almost three months on the back of rising downstream styrene monomer (SM) prices in this region and an overnight hike in US benzene prices, said traders and producers on Friday.

Spot benzene values were assessed at USD 1.210-1.220/tonne (EUR 847-854/tonne) FOB (free on board) Korea at 12:00 hours Singapore time on Friday, USD 15-20/tonne up from the previous days close and the highest seen since early May 2011.

Two deals were reported on Friday morning at USD 1.210/tonne FOB Korea for September and at USD 1.220/tonne FOB Korea for October shipment. Bids for prompt September cargoes reached USD 1.205-1.210/tonne FOB Korea, amid limited offers.

The spike in US prices could be also due to expectations about the tightening of supply later this quarter, following limited exports from Asia in June-July, said some traders. The US market is also watching the hurricane season closely and its possible impact on production there, they added.

Meanwhile, sentiment in the Asian benzene market was well supported by the spike in the regions SM values to above USD 1.500/tonne CFR (cost & freight) China, said traders. Some are hoping this price increase will translate to better demand from this key sector in the near term, they added.

Tags:benzene, styrene.
Category:General News
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