What are our benzene price assessments?
Platts benzene assessments are based on the price of physical barges and cargoes for loading or for delivery. We publish price assessments of benzene in Northwest Europe, the US Gulf Coast, South Korea, South East Asia, Taiwan.
Benzene is produced at the refinery via catalytic reforming; at the steam cracker as a by-product of the ethylene production process, extracted from pyrolysis gasoline; from coke oven gas. It is a colorless, toxic, aromatic liquid and is used to produce commodity chemicals and plastics such as styrene, bis-phenol A and cyclohexane.
South Korea is the key exporter of benzene in Asia, exporting 1.393,227 mt in 2013. Most of this -- 424,456 mt -- went principally to China; 352,923 mt to Taiwan, and 336,959 mt to the US. The US is net short and depends on imports from the Asian region, importing as much as 960,000 mt annually. The EU also depends on both Asia and the US, with net imports growing 57.3% year on year to 170,272 mt in the first four months of 2014, according to Eurostat.