US Q4 2009 PX inventories drop 20% year over year - NPRA

12 February 2010 21:19  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--US paraxylene (PX) inventories were 20% lower in the fourth quarter of 2009 than the same time a year earlier, according to data released on Friday from the National Petrochemicals & Refiners Association (NPRA).

The 430.5m lbs (19m tonnes) of PX in US tanks during the final three months of 2009 were compared with 535.4m lbs in the fourth quarter of 2008. The inventory trim showed producers and users of the chemical were trepid from mistakes in the previous year.

Market players had said during the last few months of 2009 that companies did not want to get stuck with higher-priced PX - contract values had been on the rise since October - and saw price drops as likely in the new year.

Inventory discipline and market conditions in 2009 were different than 2008, when second-quarter inventories were recorded at more than 700.0m lbs.

Year-end tax pressure also spurred players to shed 16% of inventory from the third quarter of 2009 to the fourth, according to NPRA's statistics.

The impact could also be seen in production, which was down by 2% in the fourth quarter.

US producers made 1,672m lbs of PX in the fourth quarter, compared with 1,707m lbs in the third quarter. NPRA did not provide fourth quarter 2008 statistics.

Production data was provided to NPRA by BP, Chevron Phillips, ExxonMobil and Flint Hills Resources. DuPont, Eastman and Invista disclosed their inventory levels.

PX inventories in thousands of pounds

Q4 2008

Q1 2009

Q2 2009

Q3 2009

Q2 2009

535,434

421,610

595,047

512,732

430,593

Source: NPRA

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By: Ryan Hickman
+1 713 525 2653



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