On February 16, the spot price of benzene in the United States was significantly higher, because the temperature along the Gulf coast of Mexico dropped below freezing point, and many refineries shut down, but the downstream styrene price was still strong.
|Gamma-PGA (gamma polyglutamic acid)|
Spot benzene prices, based on DDP, rose 8 cents from Friday to 264 cents per gallon on February 16. Due to the holiday in the United States, there is no benzene price on February 15. Sources said spot activity had increased.
On February 12, supported by downstream styrene, the spot price of benzene began to rise. Production problems in Europe pushed the price of styrene in the region up to US $1410 per ton, which later boosted US pricing.
Us benzene prices were further supported by the temperature below zero, which brought down a number of US refineries. It is reported that ExxonMobil’s Beicheng plant with a benzene production capacity of 730000 tons / year has failed. TCEQ reported that total closed its Port Arthur plant with a benzene capacity of 104000 T / a after losing steam. Citroe closed its Corpus Christi plant with a benzene production capacity of 167000 tons per year. In addition, shell has closed its dilpeck refinery, which has a benzene capacity of 217000 tons per year. The coppers Christie plant with 343000 T / a flint hills benzene production capacity in the United States has also stopped production.
A total of 1.561 million tons / year of benzene production capacity is affected by storm related shutdown, which means that up to 4277 tons of benzene may be lost every day along the Gulf coast of the United States. In addition to the storm related shutdown, marathon crude is also preparing to maintain its Texas refinery, which has an improved unit with a benzene capacity of 400000 tons per year. The maintenance is expected to last about six weeks and may increase benzene production by 46000 tons on the market.
With the decrease of benzene production, downstream styrene producers are also facing problems. According to sources, Benlin has closed its factories in Texas City and beport, with production capacity of 500000 tons / year and 771000 tons / year respectively. On February 16, the spot price of styrene was US $1200 / ton FOB USG.