Initial US February PX contracts settle at 82 cents/lb

11 February 2011 21:48  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Initial US paraxylene (PX) contracts for February rose by 12 cents/lb ($265/tonne, €196/tonne), sources said on Friday.

A buyer and a supplier each confirmed the settlement was reached at 82 cents/lb DEL (delivered) US Gulf. The January contract settled at 70 cents/lb.

The 17% month-on-month hike follows the continued escalation of PX pricing because of tight supply.

BP was restarting one of its PX units in Texas City, Texas, according to a Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) filing on 5 February.

The unit was reported down for maintenance from 1-6 February.

Emissions associated with the start-up began on 5 February and were expected to last to 9 February, the filing stated.

The Texas City complex has a total PX capacity of 1.22m tonnes/year. There are three PX production units and one mixed xylene (MX) unit on site, according to the company website.

ExxonMobil’s Beaumont PX production remained on supply allocation because of  what the company described as “unexpected and prolonged operational issues”.

The sales control began on 1 January and was still in effect as of Friday, according to a company spokesman.

The US PX settlement for February is in line with the increase seen in the February Asia Contract Price, which rose $240/tonne, or 11 cents/lb, to $1,620/tonne CFR (cost and freight) Asia.

PX is mainly used to make purified terephthalic acid (PTA), which goes into polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a feedstock in the production of beverage bottles.

Major US PX producers include BP Chemicals, Chevron Phillips Chemical, Flint Hills Resources and ExxonMobil.

($1 = €0.74)

For more on paraxylene, visit ICIS chemical intelligence
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By: Ruth Liao
+1 713 525 2637

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