– Thin bids and offers
– Indications of prompt market for May
Benzene was up $8/mt in Europe on Thursday, with the CIF ARA 5-30 days forward loading assessment at $724/mt. Despite a trade heard for April laycans, activity in the market was sparse, with few bids and offers heard from elsewhere. Ranges may be developing for the first half of May, a trader said, implying some immediate shortness in the front end of the month. But the overall global supply situation for benzene remained long, he said, with little expected to change that. Some upheaval is anticipated by the market in the coming months, as both steam crackers and styrenics production units enter turnarounds. On the whole, benzene prices have been carried upwards by a bullish crude market this week. The upwards trend for crude continued on Thursday, with the ICE Brent 16:30 London assessment up 70 cents to $71.37/b.
S&P Global assessed benzene for delivery 5-30 days forward at $724/mt CIF ARA Thursday, up $8/mt from Tuesday. April was assessed up $9/mt at $730/mt, based on a trade heard at this level on Thursday. May was assessed up $9/mt at $715/mt, keeping a backwardation of $15/mt to April amid no disproving indications. June was assessed at $704/mt, up $9/mt in line with May. July was assessed at $703/mt, up $9/mt in line with June. August was assessed flat to July. FOB was assessed at $724/mt, flat to CIF.