Europe benzene December, January spot prices spike 15-18%
LONDON (ICIS)--European benzene December and January spot prices spiked 15-18% on Thursday morning amid a flurry of overnight deals.
Several January deals were reported by buyers at $700-725/tonne CIF (cost, insurance and freight) ARA (Amsterdam, Antwerp, Rotterdam), while a December deal was reported at $690/tonne CIF ARA.
Offers continued to firm in the morning session with December rising to $690-740/tonne CIF ARA, and January at $700-740/tonne CIF ARA.
At 17:00 GMT yesterday, benzene December was trading at $600-630/tonne CIF ARA and January was at $600-620/tonne CIF ARA. This represents a 17-19% rise.
The increase was driven by rising crude oil prices, talk of production problems at a major European producer – although this could not be immediately confirmed – and US benzene markets opening firmer.
“I think crude could be a reason, US opened stronger, some rumours of production problems. People thought it could be the tunaround,” a buyer said.
As a result, a flurry of industry buying activity took place, creating a spike in prices. Nevertheless, spot prices still remain well below the December contract price, which was $960/tonne FOB (free on board) NWE (northwest Europe).