Up to 20,000 tonnes of US Gulf benzene is headed to the European market in response to production issues, sources said on Friday, potentially evening out the length in the US that has suppressed prices this month.
An outage at a major European production facility opened the arbitrage opportunity in the Atlantic basin and jolted prices upward in both regions on 21 July.
"That's an easy prey for the trade," a US source said, referring to traders looking to capitalise on volatility.
A source said that 15,000-20,000 tonnes of benzene fixtures were secured for the European market.
Other US market players generally agreed with the amount of exports, although sources in Europe had estimated up to 30,000 tonnes might be coming into the market.
Meanwhile, a US Gulf aromatics trader said that 15,000-20,000 tonnes seemed like a large amount and could include some styrene.