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Sunday, June 4, 2023

US spot benzene prices slip as market eyes Asian shipments, next direction

US spot benzene prices fell Wednesday in thin action, though the market’s next move is up in the air, sources said.

Players are unclear on the direction of prices because of the uncertain timing of shipment arrivals and whether or not supply tightness will ease amid producer turnarounds.

On one side of expectations, a reasonable amount of benzene is expected to arrive from Asia sometime in March. Some participants think this could push spot US benzene prices lower by providing extra length to the market.

Sources also cited slow demand from downstream markets as an additional reason for prices to slide.

However, a couple of producers are expected to perform maintenance in March, with some participants believing this will only replace normal benzene capacity that will be absent and prices will be relatively stable amid consistent supply fundamentals.

US spot benzene was assessed Wednesday at $5.04/gal ($1,508.47/mt) FOB US Gulf Coast, a decline of 6 cents/gal ($17.96/mt) from Tuesday.

Source: Platts.com

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