Europe February PTA settles up €74/tonne in line with PX

25 March 2011 23:59  [Source: ICIS news]

VALENCIA, Spain (ICIS)--European purified terephthalic acid (PTA) contracts for February moved up by €74/tonne ($104/tonne), in line with upstream paraxylene (PX), sources said on Friday.

The reference price range rose to €1,008–1,029/tonne FD (free delivery) NWE (northwest Europe), according to ICIS data.

A source at BP Aromatics, based in Antwerp, Belgium, confirmed its average EU27 PTA price for February 2011 “changed by the equivalent of PX pass-through versus January 2011”.

The €40/tonne PX hike in March equates to a €27/tonne increase for PTA, using traditional formulas.

However, prices for March were heard to be higher than mid-€1,000/tonne as sellers demanded more for their product because of the tightness. There was no confirmation of settlements.

“Europe remains competitive [against Asia],” a seller said.

The market remains tight as it enters a period of recovery following a series of production outages.

Polish petrochemicals company PKN Orlen is in the process of starting up its new 600,000 tonne/year PTA plant in Wloclawek, Poland, sources close to the plant said. The sources expect to see commercial product from the plant by May.

Industry players said the plant is likely to go down for a couple of weeks after start-up for necessary adjustments.

They added that PKN Orlen’s 400,000 tonne/year PX unit at the same site is having problems starting up because of cold weather but PX had been sourced from elsewhere, including Asia. PKN Orlen could not be immediately contacted.

($1 = €0.71)

For more on PTA and PX, visit ICIS chemical intelligence 

By: Caroline Murray
44208 652 3214

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