US OX December contract settles up at 65.50 cents/lb

14 December 2012 22:14  [Source: ICIS news]

NEW YORK (ICIS)--The December contract price for US orthoxylene (OX) settled up by 1.75 cents/lb ($39/tonne, €29/tonne) to 65.50 cents/lb FOB (free on board), market sources said on Friday.

The settlement falls short of the 70 cent/lb price nomination that producers put forth for the month.

US spot OX prices were notionally up by 1-2 cents/lb to 66-68 cents/lb FOB export on the back of firmer spot OX prices in Asia.

An emergence of buying interest from downstream phthalic anhydride (PA) users in Asia for December and January shipments, as well as continued supply tightness, put upward pressure on Asian spot OX.

In the related US MX market, prices were higher throughout the week on the back of continued supply tightness and recent production issues. The MX market also was supported by stronger prices in other aromatics markets.

The OX pricing trend is tied in with the MX market, as well as movement in toluene and benzene, which have on the rise since the second half of November.

OX is primarily used to make phthalic anhydride (PA), a key intermediate in the production of plasticizers, which are used to make products such as flexible polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

Major US OX producers include ExxonMobil Chemical and Flint Hills Resources.

($1 =  €0.76)

By: Feliza Mirasol
+1 713 525 2653

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