Benzene in Asia fell by thirty dollars from last Friday to US$1135/mt FOB Korea Monday, on the back of lower US benzene and crude oil prices. Asian benzene prices had been keeping track with US benzene prices due to the arbitrage opportunity from South Korea to the US, as per Platts. The South Korea-US arbitrage seems to be closing now.
In the US, September benzene fell by US$26.94/mt Friday to 409 cents/gal (US$1224.14/mt) FOB USG as supply shortness was heard to be largely covered in the market. Arbitrage cargoes from Asia that are due to arrive throughout August could further dampen prices. The freight cost for moving 10,000 mt of benzene from South Korea to the US was assessed at US$51/mt Monday, unchanged from last Friday. The prompt US benzene price was assessed Friday at US$1477/mt FOB USG. European benzene was assessed Friday at US$1341/mt CIF A
Front month ICE Brent crude futures was assessed at US$103/barrel in Asia, down US$3.88/barrel since Friday.
The Asian paraxylene market sank by US$61/mt from last Friday to US$1405/mt CFR Taiwan/China Monday, after a US$52.50/mt day-on-day increase last Friday. The market was hit by selling pressure Monday amid lower equities markets in Asia. Asian financial markets as well as Western crude oil futures fell Monday amid fresh concerns over the eurozone debt crisis. Amid this, actively-traded purified terephthalic acid futures on China's Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange closed at Yuan 7,526/mt, down Yuan 244/mt from last Friday. The US PX price climbed to US$1415/mt FOB USG. The European price was assessed at US$1330/mt FOB ARA.
Asian styrene monomer for H1 September was assessed down US$15/mt day on day Monday at US$1376/mt FOB Korea, tracking tumbling crude oil amid generally bearish market sentiment.