20 February 2013 00:06 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US aromatics market suppliers and distributors said on Tuesday they were poised to increase prices on the back of tight supply and healthy demand because of recent production issues.
The tight supply followed PBF Energy’s recent force majeure after a small fire at its Toledo, Ohio, refinery in late January. The company said it will likely take several weeks before the Toledo refinery is back to planned operations.
Market participants also said there was discussion of a production issue along the Texas Gulf Coast earlier in the month, but no details were confirmed.
The reduced production led market participants in the Midwest to search for alternative supply sources for toluene and xylene.
Suppliers and distributors have been mixed, however, in their approach to the market.
Initially, suppliers said there was no strain on demand, and they could handle the extra demand.
Some suppliers and distributors have already issued price increases in February, while others said they will likely come out with price increases in March.
Price increases announced for toluene and xylene in February ranged from 3.00-5.00 cents/lb the US Gulf and in the Midwest.
For March, one producer has already come out with a price increase of 3.00 cents/lb in the US Gulf. Another distributor said it has not ruled out the possibility of raising prices March.
Current truck and rail toluene prices are at 65.00-69.50 cents/lb DEL (delivered) in the US Gulf and 62.00-65.00 cents/lb DEL in the Midwest.
Xylene prices are at 68.00-73.00 cents/lb DEL in the US Gulf and 68.50-70.50 cents/lb DEL in the Midwest.
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