08 February 2012 17:42 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--The European February paraxylene (PX) contract has settled at €1,232/tonne ($1,643/tonne), a €102/tonne increase from the January contract price, two producers and two consumers said on Wednesday.
The settlement was agreed on a free delivered (FD) northwest Europe (NWE) basis.
"I can confirm that there has been an initial settlement at €1,232/tonne," a producer said.
A PX buyer said that it had expected the increase to be higher, following the settlement of February PX contracts in Asia. The European PX contract price typically settles soon after an agreement has been reached in Asia for the ACP (Asian Contract Price). At least three major companies have settled their February PX ACP at $1,590/tonne.
The buyer said: “The price is very high. The higher it is, the more it influences the pricing for our customers, and the harder it is for them to pass on”.
“It’s a domino effect. We would like to see it lower,” the buyer added.
“It's a fair price compared to Asia...but it's too high for [downstream] PET,” a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) producer said.
In the last four weeks, spot PX has increased by $70-90/tonne to $1,510-1,520/tonne FOB (free on board) Rotterdam.
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 PET bottle resins, via one of two intermediates: purified terephthalic acid (PTA) or dimethyl terephthalate (DMT).
($1 = €0.75)
Additional reporting by Caroline Murray
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