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NGLs Week is PetroChem Wire's comprehensive summary of price trends, upstream and downstream costs, operations news and supply/demand forecasts. The report contains everything you'll need to understand what's happening in the NGL markets.

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Global August benzene contract prices settles with increases; US split again

HOUSTON, July 29, 2016 (PCW) -– Global August benzene contract prices rose month-on-month amid tightening supplies, even as crude fell and spot benzene posted mixed results.

In the US, the August benzene contract price saw another split settlement of 228 cpg ($682/mt) and 229 cpg ($685/mt), down 12-17 cpg from the 212 cpg ($634/mt) and 216 cpg ($646/mt) split settlement in July.

In Asia, Japan’s JX Nippon Oil & Energy has settled its August Asia Contract Price (ACP) at $635/mt (212cpg) CFR Asia, up $15/mt from the July ACP.

Meanwhile, the European August contract settled at €652/mt ($728/mt or 244 cpg) CIF ARA, up €67/mt from July.

The increases are likely on the back of tightening supplies with several planned and unplanned outages occurring during the last few weeks and a heavy downstream turnaround season ahead in Asia. In Europe, the last few days of trading in the benzene markets have been marked by sharp daily decreases with market chatter revolving around higher regional downstream demand and aggressive shortcovering.

The tightening supply situation ultimately trumped softening Brent crude prices and mixed spot values.

Brent fell $6.98/bbl (or an equivalent 16.6 cpg) during July. Spot benzene prices moved in mixed directions: Asia fell about $27.50/mt (9.2 cpg), Europe was up $41/mt (13.7 cpg) CIF ARA and US climbed $15/mt (5 cpg) DDP HTC during the same time frame. -- Samantha Hartke

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