US toluene, xylene prices rise on tight supply, production issues

05 December 2012 00:19  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US toluene and xylene truck and rail markets were on an uptrend because of tight supply and production issues, trade sources said on Tuesday.

The increases were also supported by stronger barge spot prices for toluene and xylene.

CITGO's Lemont facility in Illinois was having production issues, which will affect all shipments of xylene, heptane, and other products, according to a notice the company sent to customers. The company added that as a result of the production issues, it will not be able to ship those products until 20 December, including existing orders and future orders.

CITGO did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Trade sources added that PBF Energy was on 80% sales control for xylene.

PBF Energy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

For the US Gulf, Tauber said it would increase prices on xylene by 3 cents/lb ($66/tonne, €51/tonne) and on toluene by 6 cents/lb, effective on 10 December.

Conchemco followed Tauber and said it would raise prices by the same amount on xylene and toluene, effective immediately.

Trade sources said US Gulf barge prices were already up from a week earlier.

Toluene truck and rail spot prices in the US Gulf were at 64.00-65.00 cents/lb, up from 60.00-63.00 cents/lb a week earlier.

Xylene prices in the US Gulf were at 66.00-67.00 cents/lb, up from 59.00-61.00 cents/lb.

Meanwhile in the midwest, there was a 3 cent/lb price increase on the table for toluene.

Midwest toluene and xylene prices were notionally 1 cent/lb above US Gulf prices.

In the US Gulf spot barge market, nitration-grade toluene spot prices were up at $4.55-5.00/gal FOB (free on board). Mixed xylene (MX) spot prices were at $4.40-4.70/gal FOB.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Brian Balboa
+1 713 525 2653

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