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US January benzene contract prices fall 8-18 cents to $3.22/gal: sources

Houston — US January benzene contracts settled 8-18 cents lower at $3.22/gal, sources said Tuesday.

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Expectations were around this level, but some participants anticipated a steeper decline because of weakening demand from derivative styrene turnarounds in January and a large amount of benzene imports.

US benzene supply has been tight for most of the fourth quarter, but tightness in imports from Asia and Europe have eased and are expected to continue adding length to the US market during January, sources said.

Benzene contracts previously settled for December at $3.30-$3.40/gal.

Spot pricing for January was last assessed at $3.15/gal FOB US Gulf Coast and $3.13/gal DDP USG, based on S&P Global Platts data, but trades around these levels were quiet.

--John Calton, john.calton@spglobal.com
--Edited by Valarie Jackson, valarie.jackson@spglobal.com