US benzene spot prices tumbled swiftly this week after hitting a record $5.35/gal ($1,599.65/mt) DDP US Gulf on Friday, Platts data showed.
On Tuesday, October benzene was assessed at $5.18/gal ($1,548.82/mt) DDP, down 9 cents/gal ($26.91/mt) from Monday, while November benzene was assessed at $4.55/gal ($1,360.45/mt) DDP, down 25 cents/gal ($74.75/mt).
Weakness in the energy complex contributed to the bearish aromatics market.
NYMEX December crude futures settled $1.98/b lower to settle at $86.67/b. ICE Brent futures for December delivery fell $1.19/b to settle at$108.25/b on economic concerns triggered by the selloff of Spanish bonds after the Bank of Spain said the country’s economy contracted in the third quarter.
The backwardation between October and November benzene on a DDP basis steepened to a record 63 cents/gal ($188/mt), up from 47 cents/gal ($141/mt) Monday. November benzene was falling rapidly on expectation that delayed Asian imports, due in second-half October, will start arriving and the supply tightness would ease. For first-half November, the bid/offer range was heard at $4.50-4.95/gal ($1,345.50-1,489.02/mt) DDP. Offers remained at similar levels to Monday, but bids retreated as buyers turned cautious.