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Asias benzene prices hit a five-month high on Wednesday

January 18/2012

(ICIS) -- Asias benzene prices hit a five-month high on Wednesday, tracking gains in US prices as crude values spiked overnight, market players said. Spot prices rose USD30/tonne (EUR24/tonne) at USD1,195-1,205/tonne (EUR944-952/tonne) FOB (free on board) Korea early on Wednesday, the first time that USD1,200/tonne level was breached since early August, according to ICIS data.

Asias benzene prices hit a five-month high on Wednesday
US crude was trading at above USD101/bbl on Wednesday, after rising by more than USD2/bbl overnight. A March-loading cargo was concluded at USD1,200/tonne FOB Korea, while an April shipment was done at USD1,198/tonne FOB Korea, market sources said. Offers for March-loading shipments were heard at USD1,205-1,210/tonne FOB Korea that met bids at USD1,185-1,198/tonne FOB Korea.

Boosting the market sentiment in Asia were the gains in US benzene values for prompt January lots to USD4.13-4.17/gal, or USD1,235-1,246/tonne FOB Barges, on Tuesday. But this price upturn in the US could just have resulted from pure market play and not backed by fundamentals, traders said.

Benzene supply in Asia is tight in the first quarter due to a slew of plant turnarounds and unplanned shutdowns in South Korea, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore, said traders. This was another key factor pushing up prices in recent weeks, they added.

Author:Marina Ivanova
Category:General News
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