US Benzene Prices Maintain Momentum Amidst Global Market Shifts and Economic Factors
US Benzene Prices Maintain Momentum Amidst Global Market Shifts and Economic Factors

US Benzene Prices Maintain Momentum Amidst Global Market Shifts and Economic Factors

  • 28-Mar-2024 2:19 PM
  • Journalist: Rene Swann

Louisiana (US): Benzene prices in the US market continued to showcase slight continuous momentum from the previous week, following several notable increases. Recent weeks have seen significant price hikes driven by higher demand from industries using styrene, phenol, and other solvents, along with increasing Benzene production costs. The increased demand for aromatics and styrene has impacted Benzene prices, prompting manufacturers to keep prices elevated to manage supply and demand dynamics and offset production expenses. Benzene was quoted at USD 1230 per MT, FOB Louisiana, for the week ending March 22nd, 2024.

Oil prices dropped, influenced by a stronger dollar and unexpected increases in U.S. crude and gasoline inventories required primarily for Benzene production. Crude oil futures were down following a report showing a notable rise in U.S. crude oil stocks. The market is awaiting official data from the US EIA (Energy Information Administration) later in the day for further insight into the US crude oil situation.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, led by Russia and known collectively as OPEC+, are expected to maintain their current oil output policies until a full ministerial meeting in June. This decision comes ahead of the meeting, which will assess the crude oil and Benzene market and members' compliance with output reductions.

According to Sources, imports from China experienced slower growth particularly affecting West Coast ports, especially the Port of Long Beach. This decrease in import volumes resulted in reduced transit delays at ports, as the combined impacts of the Panama drought and the Middle East conflict had a lesser effect on major East and Gulf Coast ports. The latest logistics metrics for March show a strong start for U.S. container imports in 2024.

The US Federal Reserve is maintaining its projection of three quarter-point interest rate reductions this year and is considering slowing down its quantitative tightening (QT) program, these developments are positive for the economy and the chemical sector, raising the hope for Benzene retailers.

As per ChemAnalyst, the Benzene prices in the US market are expected to increase steadily in the upcoming weeks amidst the continuous rise in the crude oil and naphtha (feedstock of Benzene) prices in the global market. Moreover, in a time of increasing Benzene global competition, the US petrochemical industry is poised to expand significantly. This is due to its advantageous cost position resulting from shale gas, allowing it to operate at high capacities and increase trading, particularly when crude oil prices and Benzene are high.

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