Benzene Prices Show Improvement in early February 2023 Despite Weak Demand
- 08-Feb-2023 3:02 PM
- Journalist: Bob Duffler
Hamburg (Germany): Benzene market prices regain momentum in the European market as the upstream (Toluene) prices move northwards despite the weak interest showcased by the downstream (Styrene, Maleic anhydride, and other value chains). As a result of the increased demand for octane boosters used in gasoline, a trend mostly driven by the US market, Europe's Benzene spot prices this week extended the rises observed in the market. Major fluctuations were observed as the European market continued to follow the sanction applied on Russian crude oil. Initially, a partial halt of crude oil imports was imposed by European Union, and in February full termination of crude oil from Russia. The gradual impacts were seen in the final prices of Benzene as the price quotations were USD 1020 per MT FOB Hamburg. Furthermore, Benzene supply has been reported to be stable in the domestic market while US exports limited quantities in the international market.
The International Monetary Fund increased its forecast for economic growth in euro- nations from 0.5 percent in October to 0.7 percent in 2023 towards January end. The modest increase was brought on by the economy's better-than-anticipated performance in the previous year, which was aided by reduced natural gas prices and government financial assistance to protect people from part of the rise in energy expenses. The demand outlook for Benzene from end-use manufacturing sectors was still low amidst the reviving automobile industry and month-on-month decline in crude oil prices. As the East Asian countries (China, Japan, Taiwan, and India) boosted their industrial output rate, Benzene demand strength and trading activities were influenced proportionally.
Meanwhile, European Union has recently proposed to ban commonly used compounds known as PFAS (Per-and poly-fluoroalkyl substances). In a joint statement, the five nations working on the proposal—Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, and non-EU state Norway stated that if approved, the decision would make a huge impact on European Chemical industries and developments surrounding the ban would be interesting. As per ChemAnalyst, the market price of Benzene is anticipated to decline slightly in the coming weeks owing to the sluggish Benzene demand from the downstream sector.