1、 Price trend
According to the data of business club’s block list, the price of pure benzene continued to push up this week, and the price returned to the level at the end of October 2018. On February 21, the price of pure benzene was 6100-6350 yuan / ton (the average price was 6150 yuan / ton); on this Sunday (February 28), the price of pure benzene was 6500-6850 yuan / ton (the average price was 6690 yuan / ton), which was 540 yuan / ton or 8.78% higher than that of last week, and 24.34% higher than that of last year.
2、 Analysis and comment
During the Spring Festival, affected by the severe cold weather in the United States, crude oil production capacity dropped sharply and cost support strengthened; some styrene plants in the United States stopped unscheduled and styrene in Europe and the United States rose sharply, driving the strength of pure benzene in the outer market. Domestic pure benzene was boosted, adding up the low inventory of enterprises, and the price continued to rise. This week continued good, prices continue to rise. In the middle of the week, the spot market of pure benzene fell slightly due to the drag of styrene futures price and the increase of market profit-making mentality. Near the weekend, pure benzene rose sharply in the US gold market, followed by Asia’s pure benzene, and Sinopec’s price rose, boosting the market. This week, Sinopec’s listed price of pure benzene increased by 600 yuan / ton to 6750 yuan / ton.
In terms of external market, the demand for pure benzene in Europe and the United States is relatively strong, and the external pure benzene continues to rise, supporting the domestic market at a high level. On Friday (February 26), the reference price of pure benzene in South Korea market was 897.67 US dollars / ton, up 96 US dollars / ton or 11.98% compared with February 19; the reference price of import in East China was 915 US dollars / ton, up 99.5 US dollars / ton or 12.2% compared with February 19.
In terms of crude oil, refineries with declining operating rate are gradually recovering due to severe cold weather, but some of the production capacity is still leaving the market, and crude oil fluctuates and rises. The market is waiting for the upcoming OPEC + meeting this week. On February 19, Brent rose $2.48/barrel, or 3.91%; WTI rose $0.7/barrel, or 1.16%.
Downstream: styrene: this week, styrene rose in shock. At present, the operating rate of styrene in China is 87.86%, which is at a medium to high level. However, the inventory pressure of production enterprises is not great. Last week, the main port in East China had an inventory of 168000 tons. On February 26, the price of sample enterprises was 9683.33 yuan / ton, up 850 yuan / ton or 10.88% from last week, and 44.53% from the same period last year.
Aniline: at the beginning of the week, the profit of last week continued to be good, and the price of aniline continued to rise, returning to the era of ten thousand yuan! With the release of good news, aniline Market Returns to a stable trend. Prices rose again over the weekend, boosted by costs. The main aniline plants in Shandong Province are expected to be overhauled and the supply is expected to decrease in the coming March; the downstream price is high, the profit is good and the demand for aniline is good. The market’s attitude towards aniline is not decreasing. On February 28, the price of aniline was 10700-10800 yuan / ton in Shandong and 10700 yuan / ton in Nanjing, up 11.99% from last week and 63.5% from the same period last year.
3、 Future forecast
In terms of crude oil, the market is worried that rising oil prices may prompt more crude oil supply to return to the market. Continue to pay attention to the upcoming OPEC + meeting and discuss the new production reduction agreement.
Downstream: at present, the overall trend of pure benzene downstream is relatively strong, inquiry and preparation are active, and pure benzene is well supported. Although the social inventory of downstream styrene is rising, the overall inventory is lower than the market expectation. In the near future, with the follow-up of market speculation and demand for just needed goods, it is expected that the port will start to go to the warehouse. At present, the fundamental support of styrene is still relatively strong, but it rises too fast, so we need to pay attention to the downstream acceptance. CNOOC’s new styrene plant will be commissioned in March, and SINOCHEM Hongrun’s new styrene plant will be commissioned in March.
Internationally, severe cold weather in the United States has brought short-term growth. With the resumption of supply of foreign plants, the trend of pure benzene is expected to ease, but the demand in Europe and the United States is still strong. Domestic, pure benzene port inventory continued to decline, Shandong refining inventory is not high, short-term supply is expected to be tight. In terms of downstream, the profit margin of downstream is wide, and there is a new downstream entrance in March in China, so there is a strong demand for pure benzene. Overall, the price of pure benzene still has room to rise. Continue to pay attention to the downstream procurement situation, domestic and foreign trends of pure benzene plants, crude oil, external market and styrene trend, etc.