Benzene and paraxylene rise in Asia despite weaker crude futures

Benzene rose by US$21/mt- 1.9% day on day to US$1144/mt FOB Korea on Tuesday, in line with surging US benzene n the back of supply tightness on Monday to US$1420/mt FOB USG, as per Platts. September US benzene gained US$24/mt over the same period to US$1212/mt FOB USG, implying that the arbitrage window for Asian traders sending July or H1 August cargoes to the US for arrival in September is open. The shipping rate for sending a 10,000 mt cargo from South Korea to the US was assessed at US$49/mt on Tuesday. European benzene was assessed Monday at US$1235/mt CIF ARA. The Asian paraxylene market rose by US$11/mt from Monday to be assessed at US$1345.5/mt CFR Taiwan/China Tuesday, despite weaker Western crude oil futures. The Asian PX market found support as demand for August was seen to be firm ahead of a startup of a new purified terephthalic acid plant. Asian styrene monomer for H2 August fell US$9/mt day on day Tuesday to US$1351/mt FOB Korea, following lower energy prices and weaker sentiment on the back of trade data out of China. Data showed that China's trade surplus widened in June, sending regional stock markets lower.
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