Asia IX/PX prices fall further on weak demand for prompt shipments

03 August 2011 12:05  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asian prices for isomer-grade xylene (IX) and paraxylene (PX) continued to fall on Wednesday because of subdued demand for prompt shipments and weaker crude futures.

Prices of IX were assessed $30/tonne (€21/tonne) weaker than on Tuesday, at $1,315–1,330/tonne FOB (free on board) Korea, according to ICIS data. PX prices were $25/tonne lower at $1,600–1,605/tonne CFR (cost and freight) Taiwan and/or China Main Port (CMP).

Several PX traders were heard to still have product for shipment in the second half of August and were said to be experiencing difficulties in locating outlets, sources said.

There was little discussion on the PX August/September inter-month swap during the day, but traders valued the spread from parity to a $3/tonne backwardation. The September/October inter-month swap was valued at a $5/tonne backwardation.

However, there were expectations that valuations might flip into a contango after Kuwait’s Petrochemical Industries Company (PIC) said it would not deliver any PX in October due to a three-week maintenance at its 820,000 tonne/year Shuaiba facility.

A company source said that operating rates at the Shuaiba plant would be reduced to 80–85% of nameplate capacity for two months due to a technical glitch.

Contract allocations for August and September shipments had already been cut by up to one-third, market sources said.

($1 = €0.70)

For more on PX visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: Bohan Loh
+65 6780 4359

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