20 April 2012 15:42 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--The European April orthoxylene (OX) contract has risen by €50/tonne from the previous month and settled at a record high of €1,180/tonne ($1,553/tonne), two producers and two consumers confirmed on Friday.
The settlement was agreed on a free delivered (FD) northwest Europe (NWE) basis.
In the past four weeks, the OX spot price has risen sharply by $145-170/tonne to a record high of $1,640-1,680/tonne FOB (free on board) Rotterdam, following a deal last week at $1,640/tonne FCA (free carrier) for a few hundred tonnes.
Availability is tight, and the spot range is higher than the contract price. Offers up to $1,700/tonne FOB Rotterdam have been heard in the spot market this week, and industry sources said May prices are set to rise. In relation to the European contract price in May, one player said: “Oh yes ... we will see an increase for sure.”
The market is expected to tighten further with upcoming scheduled turnarounds in Europe during the rest of April and in May.
OX is largely used in the production of PA and is generally extracted by distillation from a mixed xylenes (MX) stream in a plant primarily designed for paraxylene (PX) production.
($1 = €0.76)
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