Europe Feb toluene contracts confirmed at $1,187–1,195/tonne

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.

“The fundamentals point to a tighter global toluene market in 2012,” the seller said. “There are structural changes happening in Europe, and the refinery closure in the US will have an impact.”

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)

Follow Truong on Twitter for daily tweets on the aromatics markets

By: Truong Mellor
+44 208 652 3214

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