03 February 2012 12:39 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--European toluene contracts for February have been confirmed at $1,187–1,195/tonne (€902-908/tonne), up by $120–127/tonne from the previous month, on the back of stronger spot indications and a balanced-to-tight availability dynamic.
One supplier initially confirmed that it had agreed February volumes within a range of $1,190–1,195/tonne, and this was later confirmed by a major consumer.
“The increase was no great surprise,” said the seller, adding that it was in line with current spot indications.
One consumer later said that it had agreed February volumes this week at $1,187–1,191/tonne, citing restricted availability and firm spot indications.
There have been several spot deals this week at $1,195/tonne, and unconfirmed talk of transactions for February delivery above $1,200/tonne.
Another European supplier said that it had confirmed February contracts with its customers in a range of $1,190–1,192.50/tonne, citing firmer spot market indications as well as tighter availability in both Europe and the US.
Healthy demand from the gasoline blending sector combined with low reformer rates would also keep toluene supply on the tight side, the supplier added.
With a strong pull for paraxylene (PX) coming from Asia because of the expansion of several downstream purified terephthalic acid (PTA) units this year, toluene disproportionation (TDP) units are expected to run hard to meet this demand, further limiting global toluene availability.
The settlements were done on a free on board (FOB) northwest Europe (NWE) basis.
($1 = €0.76)
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