10 December 2009 22:39 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Exports of fully-refined paraffin wax (p-wax) from the US to Mexico fell by 50% year-over-year in January to October, according to data released by the International Trade Commission (ITC) on Thursday.
But exports in October increased by 13% to 878 tonnes compared with 778 tonnes in the same month one year ago.
Exports of paraffin wax to Mexico are typically higher in August/September as compared to other months due to the peak manufacturing season for candles before All Saints Day (1 November) and Christmas, industry participants said.
US traders had said they expected a late candle season in 2009 as buyers have continued to operate on extremely low inventories.
“There has clearly been a change in buying behaviour,” a trader said. “Buyers are getting product at the last possible minute.”
A seller said Mexican demand continues to hold steady into December, even though traditionally the final weeks of the year are generally not large-volume months.
Another trader said that demand in Mexico is not quite down by 50%, but probably closer to 15%.
“Because of the high prices between packaged and bulk pricing that occurred last year, bulk shipments from Brownsville, Texas were substituted by packaged wax from other locations outside the US,” the trader said.
Colombia and Brazil have supplied Mexico with wax this year, the trader added.
Paraffin wax prices are stable at $1,382-1,486/tonne (€940-1,010/tonne) free on board (FOB) US Gulf for the 125-140°F (52-60°C) fully refined liquid wax, according to global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing
Major US producers include ExxonMobil, IGI and Calumet.
($1 = €0.68)
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