25 August 2004 23:09 [Source: ICIS news]
On Tuesday, nitration-grade toluene traded at a high of $2.62/gal while MX business peaked at $2.42/gal, with MX numbers rising 6.5 cent/gal during the day.
Market sources attributed the price spikes to elevated Asian demand for toluene and to a price correction for MX.?xml:namespace>
One analyst said that historically, MX seldom trades more than 10 cent/gal below toluene, but in recent weeks MX prices had been about 20 cent/gal under toluene, leaving room for an upward correction.
In a similar scenario, toluene spot prices had been bolstered by benzene hikes. Historically, a benzene/toluene price spread of 30 cent/gal would have been considered large, but recently benzene had been valued more than $1.30/gal over toluene. This resulted in stronger demand draw for toluene, which is used as feedstock for benzene production in toluene disproportionation (TDPs) units.
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