07 March 2013 09:57 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--The March European orthoxylene (OX) contract was confirmed at €1,148/tonne ($1,491/tonne), sources said on Thursday, a €15/tonne increase from the previous month, as the initial settlement received further support in the market.
Buyers and sellers agree that activity in the market is starting to pick up ahead of the peak season for construction.
“Demand is healthy on our side,” one buyer said.
There is more buying interest stemming from the downstream phthalic anhydride (PA) market, although some players feel this is being driven by reduced imports tightening availability rather than any significant uptake in demand.
With one producer currently on turnaround and others expected to come off line in the coming weeks, OX availability is predicted by several players to tighten ahead of the second quarter, and this also helped support the uptrend.
Despite the €15/tonne increase, a weaker euro over the course of February means that the contract settlement is actually down in dollar terms.
The settlement was agreed on a free delivered (FD) northwest Europe (NWE) basis.
($1 = €0.77)
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