Benzene prices in Asia increase amid strengthening crude and US benzene

Amid strengthening crude oil and dollar, a ten dollar rise was seen in Asian benzene prices day on day April 19 to US$1188/mt FOB Korea, as per Platts. Higher [Asian] benzene prices could also be explained by the improving benzene to naphtha spread that flipped into positive after rising US$7.50/mt day on day to US$155.57/mt. Typically, Asian benzene producers need the spread to be US$150/mt to break even. Front month ICE Brent crude futures inched up to US$118.69/b at 4:30 pm Singapore time (0830 GMT) April 19. In the US, benzene climbed to US$1246/mt FOB USG. European benzene fell by US$6/mt April 18 to US$1188/mt CIF ARA. The Asian paraxylene market was assessed at US$1561.50/mt CFR Taiwan/China. A weak start in the PTA futures market dampened the mood for PX. Bids and offers were sparse April 19, with H2 May offered at US$1570/mt CFR Ningbo/Taiwan, and bids for June at US$1560/mt CFR Ningbo/Taiwan. Asian styrene monomer prices for H1 June fell $1/mby a dollar to US$1492/mt FOB Korea, as an increasing number of sellers and consumers prefer to wait n the sidelines as they cannot digest the current price. In line with rising consumption, the inventory level of SM in the east of China was heard to have fallen 9,000 mt from a week earlier to 102,000 mt. The US styrene price rose by two dollars April 18 to US$1446/mt FOB USG. European styrene price was assessed April 18 up 11/mt at US$1481/mt FOB Rdam.
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