11 January 2012 11:40 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--The European January paraxylene (PX) contract has settled at €1,130/tonne ($1,449/tonne), an €80/tonne increase from the December contract price, two producers and two consumers said on Wednesday.
The settlement was agreed on a free delivered (FD) northwest Europe (NWE) basis.
"The increase follows Asian pricing and reflects the market situation here in Europe," a major producer said.
The producer added that demand is stronger than it was in December, but said it was difficult to ascertain whether this was because of stock replenishment, or an improvement in the economy. "Demand in Asia is very strong, so prices went up again," the producer explained.
A buyer said: "Demand is better than December, but still very slow."
"The agreement was reached this month with very little dispute on either side," another buyer said.
The European PX contract price typically settles soon after an agreement has been reached in Asia for the ACP (Asian Contract Price). However, the January PX ACP has only partially settled at $1,445/tonne CFR (cost and freight) Asia, up by $55/tonne from the December price of $1,390/tonne.
PX is the largest volume isomer of the mixed xylenes. Around 98% of PX is consumed in the polyester chain, mainly in the production of fibre, film and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle resins, via one of two intermediates: purified terephthalic acid (PTA) or dimethyl terephthalate (DMT).
A small amount of PX is used as a solvent and to produce di-paraxylene and herbicides.
($1 = €0.78)
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