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Global January benzene contract prices flat to weaker amid crude gains
HOUSTON, January 4, 2018 (PCW) – Global benzene contract prices were flat to lower for January on improving supply and lower downstream demand.
The US January benzene contract price came in at 322 cpg ($963/mt), down from the split Dec settlement of 330 cpg ($987/mt) and 340 cpg ($1017/mt). The European January contract fell €55/mt to €792/mt ($945/mt or 316 cpg) CIF NWE. The Asia Contract Price for January settled at $885/mt (296 cpg) CFR Asia, a rollover from December.
During the month, global values were largely lower as markets thinned out ahead of the holidays even as Brent crude made gains. Expectations of lower downstream demand in 1Q amid a heavy turnaround period also dampened a fair amount of buying sentiment. In the US and Europe, supply levels recovered as several unexpected outages were resolved.
Spot Asian values rose $7.50/mt, or 0.8%, during the month, while European prices fell $32.50/mt (3.3%). US spot values declined 3 cpg or 0.9%. Front-month Brent rose $3.14/bbl, or 4.9%. -- Samantha Hartke
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