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August global benzene contracts weaken on softer spot, sluggish demand

HOUSTON, July 31, 2017 (PCW) – Global benzene contract prices softened in August as spot values faltered amid lower downstream demand.

The US August benzene contract price came in at 248 cpg ($742/mt) and 249 cpg ($745/mt) DDP HTC, down 2-3 cpg from the single settlement of 251 cpg in July. The Asia Contract Price for August settled at $745/mt (249 cpg) CFR Asia, down $5/mt from July. Europe fell €50/mt at €645/mt ($757/mt or 253 cpg) CIF NWE.

During the month, most global values softened on sluggish downstream demand, which was due to ongoing maintenance in Asia and unplanned outages at two major styrene units in Europe. Spot Asian values fell $13/mt, or 1.8%, during the month, while European prices lost $50/mt (6.3%). US spot values, however, went practically unchanged during the month, likely due to a lack of imports and the return of two US downstream units to service. Front-month Brent, however, rose $2.84/bbl, or 5.7%.

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