08 June 2013 00:15 [Source: ICIS news]
NEW YORK (ICIS)--The US paraxylene (PX) June contract price is expected to settle down from May on less-than-stellar demand from downstream markets and softer co-product markets, sources said on Friday.
Demand in the downstream polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle resin sector has not been particularly strong, despite a pick up that is in line with the start of the summer season.
Market players said they expected to see more buoyant demand on the seasonal summer pickup but have not.
Meanwhile, co-product mixed xylenes (MX) is also seeing soft demand, while no firm price direction emerged in MX spot prices this week.
A relationship disconnect to the PX Asian Contract Price (ACP) in recent months is also driving the US contract price down, a market player said.
The May US PX contract price was settled later than usual in that month at a slight decline from April. May PX was settled without benefit of pricing cues from the PX ACP, which was left unsettled for the month of May.
US PX spot prices were notionally stable at 63 cents/lb ($1,389/tonne, €1,056) based on steady Asian PX spot prices in the week.
PX is primarily used to make purified terephthalic acid (PTA), an intermediate chemical used in the production PET. A major outlet for PET is in the production of plastic bottles for beverages.
Major US PX producers include BP Chemicals, ExxonMobil Chemical, Chevron Phillips Chemical and Flint Hills Resources.
($1 = €0.76)
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