US May OX contract rises 1 cent/lb on tight supply, feedstocks

06 May 2010 15:51  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--US May orthoxylene (OX) contracts rose by a penny from April on rising upstream prices and tight supply, a contract negotiator said on Thursday.

The May contract was settled at 49 cents/lb ($1,080/tonne, €842/tonne) FOB (free on board) US Gulf (USG), compared with 48 cents/lb in April.

The upward move came in response to a 3% increase in the US May mixed xylenes (MX) contract, which settled at $2.92/gal.

The MX contract applies to 5211-grade material in the US Gulf.

The OX market remained tight as ExxonMobil was supplying the market solely from its Baytown facility in Texas, and Flint Hills Resources (FHR) was getting its Corpus Christi plant in Texas back to full run rates following a recent turnaround.

The May settlement reflected an 18-month high. The benchmark had not been at that level since October 2008, when 50 cents/lb was the monthly price, according to data from global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.

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

($1 = €0.78)

For more on orthoxylene (OX) visit ICIS chemical intelligence
To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect

By: Ryan Hickman
+1 713 525 2653

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