16 November 2012 12:08 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--The European November paraxylene (PX) contract price has been confirmed at €1,210/tonne ($1,551/tonne), up €20/tonne from the previous month, as the initial settlement received further support from players.
The delay in the European settlement this month was largely driven by failure in the Asian market to reach a consensus on a number for November.
A slight increase had been expected by many in the market, as it kept European numbers slightly above Asia. However, weak derivative demand from key end-use markets did not support any upward movement on pricing.
Looking ahead to December, there is already anticipation among some downstream players that the monthly price will see a reduction, although a stronger pull from derivatives as new lines begin operating will keep any decrease slight.
The European spot market was subdued this week, and the range was assessed lower at $1,450-1,520/tonne FOB (free on board) Rotterdam, with a wide gap emerging between bids and offers as weak derivative demand kept buyers on the sidelines.
However, balanced supply levels mean that sellers are largely unwilling to drop numbers significantly below the contract price this month, which has left offers for spot material notional at best.
Looking into 2013, there is expectation that PX will remain balanced-to-tight globally, as selective toluene disproportionation operating rates are kept lower on poor economics with benzene and toluene.
The contract was agreed on a free delivered (FD) northwest Europe (NWE) basis.
($1 = €0.78)
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