Europe January PA settles up €30/tonne on orthoxylene increase

22 January 2010 23:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--January European phthalic anhydride (PA) contracts have settled at an increase of €30/tonne ($42/tonne) from December, in line with the increase in the January contract price of feedstock orthoxylene (OX), buyers and sellers confirmed on Friday.

“The contract followed OX for liquid and flake,” a producer said.

January PA contracts settled at €915-1,010/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) for liquid and €825-870/tonne FD NWE for flake, according to global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.

The January OX contract price was confirmed at €690/tonne FD NWE on 11 January, a €30/tonne increase from December.

The PA contract settlement came amid tight supply caused by difficulties in obtaining OX, leading to low production rates, buyers and sellers said.

“The market is very tight in OX and therefore PA…We’ve been obliged to reduce production. The main problem comes from [sourcing] OX,” a producer said.

Production at CEPSA’s 32,000 tonne/year PA plant at Algeciras, Spain, was halted in early January, adding to the tight supply.

The plant was shut down due to mechanical problems, a company source had previously reported, without confirming the exact date. It was expected to restart by 1 February.  

The low availability of material led some sources to predict that the February PA contract price would see a dramatic rise of €100/tonne above next month’s OX contract price, although the majority of players said that it remained too early to predict February contract numbers with any degree of accuracy.

($1 = €0.71)

For more on PA visit ICIS chemical intelligence
To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect

By: Mark Victory
+44 208 652 3214

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