For the Quarter Ending June 2022
In the second quarter of 2022, the Benzene price showcased an upward trajectory movement in the North American region. The tight supply of upstream Crude due to the sanctions on Russian imports influenced the Benzene market. Hence, following the skyrocketed upstream crude price, the Benzene price trend also increased across the region. Moreover, the resumption of the Chinese domestic market after the COVID restrictions plunged, and the demand for Benzene rose, which inflated Benzene pricing. Also, the downstream Styrene market showed significant growth after the manufacturing plants resumed. As a result, post witnessing a steady price trend in the US market, the FOB Louisiana price settled at USD 1827/ tonne in the quarter ending June.
The Benzene market witnessed an oscillating trend in the APAC region in the second quarter of June 2022. Initially, the price of Benzene dropped in the Indian domestic market due to the fall in international crude prices. The demand from China plummeted owing to the market shutdown caused by the rising COVID cases, which led to the oil price cut by Saudi Aramco in May, pulling down the Benzene pricing. Later, after the ease of the lockdown restrictions, the demand from the Chinese market grew, triggering the Benzene values. The export charges from India rose along with the freight costs, further inflating the Benzene pricing. Therefore, the price of Benzene was recorded at USD 1420/ tonne FOB JNPT.
During the second quarter of 2022, the prices of Benzene moved in an uptrend in the German market. The price rise was supported by the rising upstream Crude values due to supply shortage. Owing to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the EU government implemented sanctions on Russian oil imports, which led to the limited availability of Crude. Moreover, the demand from the downstream derivative phenol, acetone, and cumene manufacturers rose, inflating the Benzene market. The domestic market's healthy buying activities and constrained supply provoked the suppliers to revise their offers. Hence, the price of Benzene was observed at USD 1427/ tonne FOB Hamburg in June.
For the Quarter Ending March 2022
The benzene market showcased marginal gain initially, followed by a peak rise by the quarter ending March 2022. Strong buying momentum has led the foundation to bullish demand. Moreover, rising demand for downstream Toluene, Nitrobenzene and Mixed-Xylene influenced the price of Benzene to grow. However, due to the geopolitical tension, the upstream Crude price hike affected the Benzene market globally. In addition, the soaring fuel prices and the disruption in shipments owing to the Russian invasion of Ukraine led to a delay in trade, impacting the Benzene values. Henceforth, the price of Benzene in the USA was observed to settle at USD 1235 per MT for FOB Louisiana.
During the first quarter of 2022, Benzene prices witnessed a resilient rise in the APAC region. Benzene price increment owed to the spike in upstream crude oil and the rising demand from end-use manufacturing industries. However, there was a pick in market activities after the halt in production due to Winter Olympics and Lunar holidays inflicted on the Benzene cost. Also, the resurgence of the COVID outbreak in China led to a delay in trade due to port congestion, which significantly impacted Benzene prices. Besides, the high operating rates of Benzene plants due to firm demand resulted in solid Benzene charges. Thus, FOB prices for Benzene in India were witnessed at USD 1466 per MT in March 2022.
Benzene prices showed a mixed sentiment in the European market. At the beginning of Q1, costs of Benzene dropped due to ample availability of product; later in February, a marginal rise in the prices was observed. Sturdy demand from the regional market due to the disruption caused by the Russia-Ukraine conflict laid the foundation for the increase in Benzene prices. Moreover, the upsurge in upstream crude oil also had an impact on the Benzene market. Also, the persistence of the energy crisis in Europe after the suspension of Russian gas resulted in further price hikes. Hence, the FOB prices of Benzene in Germany settled at USD 1150 per MT in March 2022.
In Q4 2021, Benzene prices showcased an overall upward trajectory with a marginal gain of USD 40/MT from October to December. Volatility in the upstream crude oil values and demand outlook had supported the pricing trend of Benzene in the region. Moreover, in November, dip in the values of Benzene in South Korea was also reflected in USA market easing the Benzene prices as it imports 35-40% of the product from South Korea. However, in December, Benzene prices rose effectively on the back of surge in the crude oil values as well as firm demand. Thus, FOB Louisiana Benzene prices settled at USD 1064/MT in December. Benzene prices are likely to attain more gains in the upcoming month in effect of upstream crude oil prices.
In APAC, Benzene market had witnessed mixed during the fourth quarter of 2021 in effect of the volatility in the upstream crude oil values. Moreover, buying moment kept fluctuating depending upon the enquiries from downstream manufacturers. In November, Benzene market appeared to be bullish in India owing to the festive season that led to increment in its prices. However, in December price dynamics of the product had changed due to snapping of crude oil prices along with lull trade activities because of the year end. Hence, Benzene Ex Mumbai prices had attained gain and settled at on USD 1076.93/MT in November while in December prices tumbled down to USD 971.93/MT showcasing a significant drop. However, it is anticipated that Benzene prices will rise in the coming month owing to the expected surge in demand and volatility in crude oil values.
In the European market, Benzene prices witnessed an upward trend during the fourth quarter of 2021 backed by the firm values of feedstock Naphtha in effect of upstream crude oil fundamentals. Moreover, energy crises led to the production cut that sent ripples to the values of Benzene. Additionally, persistent logistical issues and healthy demand from the downstream Styrene manufacturers further supported the pricing trend of Benzene in Europe. Hence, FOB Hamburg prices were assessed at USD 1111/MT in December witnessing a rise of USD 156/MT since October.