Benzene supply and pricing in Europe to be manipulated by cracker and reformer operations

Benzene demand in Europe declined essentially in Q1-09 compared with Q1-08. Demand improved by the end of 2009, although it's still faced with difficulties as the recession affects the derivative performance as per a report by Benzene supply and pricing in Europe will continue to be manipulated by cracker and reformer operations. Persistent high naphtha values will push cracker operators to choose cheaper and lighter feeds, reducing benzene production and pressuring prices upwards. In spite of decline in global benzene demand, mainly due to the global economic downturn, benzene supply is increasing with new major refinery capacity being built in the Middle East and Asia. With new refinery capacity benzene oversupply is predicted after 2015, outpacing demand growth for gasoline. Benzene is used to produce several intermediates including styrene, phenol, cyclohexane, aniline, maleic anhydride, etc. It is also used to make anthraquinone and hydroquinone, and other products in drugs, dyes, insecticides, plastics.
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