Weak gasoline creates benzene opportunity
on November 29, 2010


Benzene markets have become increasingly volatile over the past few years. This is because there are now no major sources available of on-purpose supply, to balance demand.
My speech at our Aromatics Conference in Berlin last week highlighted the changes that had taken place. Over the past 2 years, benzene spreads versus naphtha had fluctuated between minus $100/t and plus $400/t. Whereas historically, spreads had remained in an $80 – $200/t range, as on-purpose hydrodealkylation units (HDA) had supplied up to 20% of demand, and been able to balance the market.
The YouTube interview with ICIS’s Elaine Burridge highlights the key points, and the problems being caused for styrene markets by current tight supply conditions. It argues that the changes underway in gasoline markets offer consumers the chance to achieve a new balance, based on potentially distressed feedstock availability.

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  • Chemicals & The Economy
    December 8, 2010

    Benzene supply/demand begins to change

    Benzene is the blog’s favourite leading indicator for chemical demand, due to its widespread use in the industry. Its recent price movements versus its naphtha feedstock, may therefore be telling us something quite important about changing supply/deman…

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