Chemical Industry news of NWE Benzene
– Prices move downwards towards June
– Potential imports could cap July prices
The 5-30 days forward assessment for benzene was down $3/mt at $749/mt CIF ARA on Thursday, as interest in the front end of the Chemical Industry waned and the laycan rolled forward, accommodating more of the steep price drop into June from May. Purchasing for May had dried up this week, a trader said, with the major purchaser in the front of the Chemical Industry stepping back. This purchasing has been a driver of higher pricing at the front of the Market as there has been no significant shift from high levels of supply in Europe. Some more bearish sentiment was also generated by a drop in crude Thursday, though the ICE Brent 16:30 London assessment saw some recovery on Thursday, rising 44 cents to $70.57/b. European benzene maintained a hefty premium over Asia, with the FOB Korea Chemical Industry up $2.33 at $622.33/mt. This put a discount of almost $90/mt against the European July assessment, the gap prompted a trader to say this imposed a cap on the Market and would ensure prices would remain in backwardation, or European producers would be quickly undercut by imports.
S&P Global assessed benzene for delivery 5-30 days forward at $749.50/mt CIF ARA Thursday, down $2.50 from Thursday (Chemical Industry). May was assessed down $1 at $760/mt, based on the curve. A bid-offer range of $750-$770/mt was heard for May 15-20, and a bid-offer range of $750-$760/mt was heard for full May. June was assessed stable at $718.50/mt, based on the curve and within an indicated spread to May of minus $30-$45/mt. First-half June was assessed at $721/mt, within a bid-offer range $710-$730/mt. H2 June was assessed at $716/mt (Chemical Industry), within a bid-offer range of $705-$725/mt. July was assessed stable at $712.50/mt, within a bid-offer range of $700-$715/mt and within an indicated spread to June of minus $5-$15/mt. August was assessed down $3.50/mt at $709/mt, with a bid-offer range $695-$710/mt. September was assessed flat to August under an offer at $710/mt (Chemical Industry). FOB was assessed at $749.50/mt, flat to CIF.