02 May 2006 21:29 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Price hikes for aromatics are likely in the coming weeks as the methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) phase-out fuels the market, some US aromatics producers said on Tuesday.
The predictions came on the heels of May price hikes already announced by several aromatics producers. Most of the increases for toluene and xylene ranged between 2-4 cents/pound ($44.08-88.16/tonne) a Canadian distributor said.
In a 10-week period between 18 February and 29 April, US Gulf Coast barge spot prices for toluene rose by more than 9 cents/pound - an increase of nearly 29%, according to global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing. During that same period, xylene prices rose by nearly 9 cents for an increase of more than 27%.
While the strength of the crude oil market was mentioned by some producers and distributors, most participants said the main driver was the fuel market as the ?xml:namespace>
“I see little change in the market before the end of summer,” a producer said. “We might see periods of some relief, but there’s no indication of a sustained price reduction anytime soon.”
North American aromatic producers include ExxonMobil, Tauber, Citgo, FHR and Phillips. Distributors and consumers include
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