08 March 2012 16:36 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--The European March paraxylene (PX) contract has settled at €1,268/tonne ($1,668/tonne), a €36/tonne increase from the February contract price, two producers and two consumers said on Thursday.
The settlement was agreed on a free delivered (FD) northwest Europe (NWE) basis.
“I can confirm an initial March settlement for PX at €1,268/tonne,” a producer said.
An increase had been expected following the settlement of the Asian Contract Price (ACP), but one buyer said a smaller hike had been anticipated. “Although it is higher than my expectation, I will follow it,” the buyer said.
The European PX contract price typically settles soon after an agreement has been reached in Asia. The March PX ACP fully settled at $1,650/tonne CFR (cost and freight) Asia.
Another buyer said: “This price is purely following the ACP. Asian fibre demand is not really picking up, and if this continues, pricing may relax. But, there are PX shutdowns coming in April, May and June and this will probably affect pricing too.”
In the last four weeks, spot PX has increased by $20-30/tonne to $1,540-1,560/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 = €0.76)
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