Europe November PTA settles up €82/tonne in line with paraxylene

22 December 2010 18:33  [Source: ICIS news]

VALENCIA, Spain (ICIS)--European purified terephthalic acid (PTA) contracts for November rose €82/tonne ($108/tonne) in line with the upstream paraxylene (PX) pass-through, buyers and sellers said on Wednesday.

“For November 2010, I can confirm that BP Aromatics Limited's average… PTA price changed by the equivalent of PX pass versus October,” the producer said.

This echoed previous comments made by a second producer earlier in December.

A customer said that its November contract price had reached €820/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe).

These levels were up from the October assessed range at €724-745/tonne, according to ICIS.

“Spot is even higher,” the customer added.

Spot material was hard to come by and was on offer at a premium over PX. Levels of €840-850/tonne were reportedly available.

A force majeure at BP’s Geel site in Belgium was largely to blame for this.

The same market players that had expected a restart early this week or even on Friday, 17 December, were still expecting a relatively quick solution. BP had the required spare parts for the broken agitator but freezing weather conditions were hampering work, according to industry sources.

BP has a 375,000 tonne/year line at Geel and another 650,000 tonne/year unit in the same location, according to the ICIS Plants and Projects. The FM was recorded as affecting the former.

BP would not comment following its recent confirmation that it had declared force majeure and that its customers were receiving 70% of their December allocation.

Requirements were high considering the time of year, particularly for those customers affected by the FM. Downstream polyethylene terephthalate (PET) was still pulling on resources because of the lack of PET imports and because of further price hikes expected for January.

“I am starving for PTA,” said another buyer.

($1 = €0.76)

For more on DMT, PX, methanol visit ICIS chemical intelligence
To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect

By: Caroline Murray
44208 652 3214

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