Balanced availability helps Europe OX resist softer oil, energy

24 April 2013 11:59  [Source: ICIS news]

BalanceLONDON (ICIS)--Limited availability outside of contractual business has helped keep European orthoxylene (OX) numbers from falling sharply amid oil and energy losses, sources said on Wednesday.

A firmer Asian market, where availability concerns combined with inventory restocking have pushed up prices this month, also supported European prices.

While the European April OX contract did see a €20/tonne ($26/tonne) reduction, this was minor in comparison to the €130/tonne decrease for co-product paraxylene (PX).

“There have been some exports to South America and the US,” one trader said. “But supply has been limited, and this is likely to remain the case until June at the earliest.”

Several turnarounds and limited production output in 2013 have kept availability outside of contractual volumes scarce, while offtake has been healthy despite the ongoing lull in construction activity.

Last year saw OX prices in Europe reach record highs, as unplanned production outages saw sharp price increases.

“Everything is contracted out here in Europe,” said one source. “Only a lack of demand frees up any material for the spot market.”

($1 = €0.77)

By: Truong Mellor
+44 208 652 3214

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