This week, the liquidity of benzene Market in Asia was good. As the price difference between FOB Korea and DDP USG widened, the buying interest was boosted. It was said that traders were interested in the opportunity of trans Pacific goods transfer.
Since the beginning of this week, the value of May’s cargo has risen, from $821.50 per ton on March 29 to $866 per ton on April 1.
Benzene continued to rise, contrary to the price trend of crude oil market, which fell on March 31. As a result, the source was surprised by the strong performance of FOB Korea, adding that the usual reference relationship between fixed, floating and bill pricing is not applicable at present, and that the monthly price spread fluctuates too much to define the large range of floating value in May.
An East China trader also pointed out that with the narrowing of the FOB South Korea CFR China price gap, it is logical to shift the FOB South Korea supply to the United States rather than China. However, demand for CFR China has been growing due to an increase in new downstream projects and a decline in inventory levels, which is likely to compete for Asian supply in the coming weeks.
DDP USG hit a 39 month high
The US benzene price rebounded, hitting a nearly 39 month high on March 31, with a spot value of US $958 / T based on DDP. In the early stage, the monthly value is 10 cents lower than that of the prompt month. It is heard that many transactions are closed at 928 US dollars / ton. In addition to the rise in spot prices, participants expect the US benzene contract price to rise in April. Some sources expect that the settlement price of us benzene contract in April will rise to nearly 898 US dollars per ton from 802 US dollars per ton in March.
Participants pointed out that the demand of styrene downstream market improved, the supply side was tight, and the fundamentals were favorable.
Demand for styrene has picked up in the United States as many producers have brought their plants back online after planned and unplanned outages. It is reported that cosmar and leandbasel have restarted styrene production after planned maintenance. If the annual comprehensive capacity of ethylbenzene (EB) is 2.772 million tons, the demand for benzene is expected to be slightly less than 171000 tons / month.
Benlin restarted the EB unit in beport last weekend, according to a document.
In addition to the increase in demand, affected by the extremely cold weather along the Gulf coast of the United States in mid February, many refineries and chemical producers went offline, resulting in lower benzene production.