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Originally aired: December 2, 2015

Benzene Outlook for 2016:  Return of Price Volatility?

After reaching unprecedented price levels in the summer of 2014, Benzene prices were surprisingly low in 2015 despite strong demand from styrene. Part of the drop in prices can be explained by the dramatic drop in crude oil prices, but surprisingly high operating rates of reformers and naphtha crackers resulted in oversupply of benzene. Price differentials between Asia and US Gulf disappeared, yet northeast Asia shipped more volume to the USA in 2015, than it did a year early, when the differential averaged $125/t.

Styrene producers enjoyed record spreads over benzene cost in the first half of 2015, then margins moderated in the second half of the year.

How will these developments impact benzene and styrene supplies, prices and trade flows in 2016? Join Chuck Venezia, Senior VP, Petrochemicals for this webinar where he will discuss:

  • Changes in benzene feedstock supply from refineries, ethylene crackers, and paraxylene units
  • Despite bearish outlook for crude oil prices, benzene prices are likely to move higher
  • New Chinese capacity and restart of Shell’s Moerdijk unit will likely lead to lower styrene margins, but US exports remain competitive
2016 Petrochemical Markets Outlook Webinar Series