Tight supply expectations push US aromatics prices higher

16 August 2013 23:01  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Tight supply expectations in US Gulf Coast ahead of upcoming turnarounds have pressured aromatics barge spot prices in the region, according to market participants on Friday.

Although trade sources have said a number of specific aromatics units would be down in September and October, producers along the Gulf Coast have not confirmed any specific downtime.  

Market participants were also questioning what impact the turnarounds would have on downstream derivatives markets.

The tight supply expectation have helped push benzene, toluene and mixed xylene (MX) prices higher over the week.

Current benzene spot prices were discussed at $4.26-4.32/gal ($1,275-1,293/tonne) FOB (free on board), up from $4.17-4.23/gal FOB a week earlier.

Current nitration-grade (n-grade) toluene spot prices were discussed at $3.80-3.90/gal FOB, up from $3.75-3.85/gal a week earlier.

Current mixed xylene (MX) spot prices were discussed at $4.08-4.15/gal FOB, up from $4.03-4.10/gal FOB a week earlier.

And as market participants look to make preparations ahead of September/October turnarounds, they may also have to take potential hurricanes into account as well. Trade participants said that was not much of an issue since there were no immediate weather threats in the Gulf Coast.

By: Brian Balboa
+1 713 525 2653

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