US spot prices for aromatic and aliphatic solvents still rising

19 April 2011 22:15  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US truck and railcar spot prices for several grades of aromatic and aliphatic solvents increased on tight supply, strong demand and high US Gulf (USG) barge prices, sources said on Tuesday.

Toluene prices were assessed up 1 cent/lb ($22/tonne, €15/tonne) on the USG and midwest price ranges, while xylene was assessed up 2 cents/lb in both regions.

In the USG, toluene was assessed at 55.00-60.00 cents/lb DEL (delivered), while xylene was assessed at 58.00-62.00 cents/lb DEL.

A reseller said it had raised its prices for both products by 3 cents/lb on 11 April, and would target a further 5 cents/lb on xylene from 15 April. There was no confirmation on whether the full hike had been passed on to end-users.

The growing price differential between the two products is the result of recent bullishness in the US paraxylene (PX) market, sources said.

Prices for all grades of aliphatic solvents except hexane were assessed up 3-4 cents/lb, driven by strong demand and low availability.

USG prices for high mineral spirits and low mineral spirits were assessed at 61.00-64.00 cents/lb DEL.

Varnish makers and paints grade was assessed at 70.00-73.50 cents/lb DEL, while hexane was unchanged at 63.50-67.00 cents/lb DEL.

A producer said on Tuesday that it had raised its aliphatic solvents prices, but did not quantify the increase. The source added that it is planning a further hike of 4 cents/lb, to take effect on 29 April.

A reseller confirmed that it had increased its prices this month for high mineral spirits, low mineral spirits, and varnish makers and paints grade.

The reseller said a supplier of hexane was planning to raise its price for the solvent by around 4.5 cents/lb, effective 25 April.

Aromatic 100 and Aromatic 150 spot prices held steady, with Aromatic 150 maintaining its 3 cent/lb premium over Aromatic 100 on account of its comparatively tight supply situation.

US aromatic solvent producers include CITGO, ExxonMobil, Flint Hills Resources, Sunoco and Total. Aliphatic solvent producers include Calumet, CITGO, ExxonMobil and Shell.

($1 = €0.70)

For more on aromatic and aliphatic solvents visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: Samuel Weatherlake
+44 20 8652 3214

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