US OX producers nominate 3-4 cent/lb increases for Nov contracts

16 October 2009 21:08  [Source: ICIS news]

(recast with words "versus September" in paragraph 1)

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--US orthoxylene (OX) producers nominated increases of 3-4 cents/lb ($66-88/tonne, €44-59/tonne) for November contracts versus September amid a recent upturn in the US spot mixed xylenes (MX) market, sources said on Friday.

ExxonMobil posted 43 cents/lb as its pricing target and Flint Hills Resources (FHR) suggested 44 cents/lb to its customers for upcoming contracts, both higher compared with the September contract at 40 cents/lb FOB (free on board) US Gulf (USG).

One supplier said the nominations incorporate a "safety net" in the event that the energy complex strengthens and increases raw material costs.

USG spot MX was talked higher by about 5-15 cents/gal at $2.45-2.55/gal FOB on 16 October, according to data from global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.

The supplier said demand for OX continues to be hollow, with buyers ordering on the lower half of contractual obligations.

OX demand is not expected to build in the coming months with downstream producers conducting maintenance. A seasonal downturn is also anticipated in December.

Major US producers of OX include ExxonMobil and FHR, while Stepan and BASF are large US buyers.

($1 = €0.67)

For more on orthoxylene (OX) visit ICIS chemical intelligence 
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By: Ryan Hickman
+1 713 525 2653

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