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Asian benzene falls USD19.50 per mt but large US drop sees a


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Asian benzene falls $19.50/mt, but large US drop sees arbitrage window closing   Apr 24,2014 Platts Asian benzene prices dropped $19.50/mt Wednesday, pulled lower by a tumble in US benzene Tuesday, but the magnitude of the fall in US prices has nearly closed the arbitrage window from South Korea to the US, according to sources.

Spot Asian benzene was assessed at $1,253/mt FOB Korea Wednesday, down from $1,272.50/mt Tuesday.

May and June US benzene prices both dove 14 cents/gal ($41.86/mt) Tuesday to be assessed at $4.46/gal ($1,333.54/mt) FOB US Gulf and $4.42/gal ($1,321.58/mt) FOB USG.

US sources attributed the decline in that region to an increase in supply as shipments from Asia arrive. There are unsold cargoes currently on the water, US sources said.

The difference between Wednesday's FOB Korea assessment and Tuesday's May US benzene assessment was at $80.54/mt, and the difference between Wednesday's FOB Korea assessment and Tuesday's June US benzene assessment narrowed to $68.58/mt. With freight assessed at $63-$68/mt between South Korea and the US, the arbitrage window for May remained open, but for June, the arbitrage was close to shutting on paper.

An Asia-based source said working the arbitrage depends on people's view for the future US price.

The arbitrage window between South Korea and the US has been open since mid-December