NWE Benzene – 5-30 day price falls on March-April backwardation

– 5-30 day price $0.50/mt lower on day

– Market normalizing after price spike last week

S&P Global  assessed benzene for delivery 5-30 days forward at $649.50/mt Thursday, $0.50/mt lower on the day. Market participants said the market was moving into a more balanced situation and was normalizing after last week’s price spike that followed the outage of the 320,000 mt/year Bohlen plant. “[The] market had to digest the Dow shutdown, but we could be back on an upward trend [after] today,” a trader said Thursday. A second trader said benzene prices “were supported by the energy complex coming up a bit,” adding that they “found a bullish element today.” The 1630 London time ICE Brent crude oil futures assessment rose to $67.09/b Thursday from $66.57/b Tuesday. Meanwhile, the benzene-naphtha spread indicated that length on the benzene market had returned. The spread was last seen at $126.75/mt Tuesday, down from $143.50/mt Thursday, with values below $150/mt indicating ample available benzene supplies on the market. Downstream,  assessed styrene loading 5-30 days forward at $1,084.50/mt FOB ARA Thursday, up $24/mt on the day. March was assessed at $1,076/mt, up $25/mt on the day, $1 above the best bid at $1,075/mt and below an outstanding offer at $1,080/mt. April was assessed at $1,094/mt, up $21/mt based on the existing contango between March and April and below the latest offer at $1,095/mt. This narrowed the contango $4/mt to $18/mt.

RATIONALE:

S&P Global  assessed benzene for delivery 5-30 days forward at $649.50 /mt CIF ARA Thursday, down $0.50/mt from Tuesday’s assessment due to the backwardation between March and April. March was assessed stable on the day at $654/mt, within the latest bid-offer range of $635-$655/mt. April was assessed stable on the day at $644/mt, within the latest bid-offer range of $635-$645/mt and maintaining a stable backwardation of $10/mt between March and April. May was assessed at $644/mt, $5/mt lower on the day, within the latest bid-offer range of $630-$645/mt. June and July were assessed flat to May. FOB was assessed at $649.50/mt, flat to CIF.

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