US ExxonMobil PX facility remains on sales allocation

18 March 2011 18:13  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--ExxonMobil on Friday said its Beaumont paraxylene (PX) facility in Texas remains on sales allocation.

The US allocation adds to the global strain on PX supply, especially in the wake of Japan’s earthquake and tsunami.  

Asia’s PX supply has tightened regionally, given three Japanese facilities owned by JX Nippon Oil and Energy were shut since 11 March. 

In Beaumont, ExxonMobil has allocated its PX supply since 1 January, a company spokesman said.  

The Beaumont facility has a listed PX capacity of 300,000 tonnes/year.

One North American PX market source said Asian producers with upcoming planned turnarounds are now adjusting schedules accordingly in order to cope with the outages.

An initial settlement was heard this week for US PX March contracts at 84.75 cents/lb ($1,868/tonne, €1,197/tonne) DEL (delivered), up 2.75 cents/lb, but not all market players have reached an agreement given the recent events in Japan.

One trade source said the March contracts may head for a split settlement.

PX is primarily manufactured for purified terephthalic acid (PTA), an intermediate chemical used in polyethylene terephthalate (PET), commonly used for plastic bottles.

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

($1 = €0.71)

For more on paraxylene visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: Ruth Liao
+1 713 525 2637

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