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Korean Benzene Show Signs of Ease Against Falling Crude

Korean Benzene Show Signs of Ease Against Falling Crude

  • 30-Nov-2021 10:16 AM
  • Journalist: Jung Hoon

After a volatile week, FOB Seoul (Korea) Benzene price settled around $950/mt in the week ending 26th Nov., showing a marginal ease (-$4/mt) change over the levels observed last week. The Asian Benzene market outlook remained highly uncertain while the Chinese Benzene market closed at an upper hand due to strong derivatives demand and low material availability. Decreasing spread with Naphtha continued to impact the BTX aromatics spread towards the closure of the final week of November. Downstream Toluene resolutely traces an uptrend at around $880/mt levels while xylene stays consistently flat.

As per market players, the increase in Benzene pricing remained largely capped as crude fell at the week’s closing, wiping out gains seen last week. FOB Korea negotiations appeared to be muted during the week on low import enquiries from the Chinese buyers.

Korea’s producer price index (PPI) gained 0.8 percent from the last month to settle around 112.21 in October, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK). The index has continued to break records for the seventh consecutive month since April buoyed by high upstream rates and increasing margin pressure over the Asian producers. The uptrend in prices of key petrochemical products is also tied to high pricing index for key industrial products, including oil products which rose by 1.8 percent in October from the prior month, maintaining an uptrend for almost 17 straight months.

As per ChemAnalyst, the Korean Benzene market is expected to remain highly volatile under continued worries over surging freight costs, and ongoing cautiousness among key Asian producers over the volatile crude market.  

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