Europe xylene spot prices move down on market losses in Asia, US

26 September 2013 16:01  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European xylene spot prices have moved down on the back of losses in the Asian and US xylene spot markets, sources said on Thursday.

“It’s very, very quiet and I think prices have come down because Asia and the US are weaker,” said one trader source.

A second trader said: “Xylenes at the moment... it’s tough. On the one hand I don’t think there is too much in the ARA (Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp). No one is ready to pay a high price for xylene. The spread to mixed xylene [MX] is weak – paraxylene [PX] is in storage  and nobody is wanting to get rid of it.”

A producer of xylenes described the markets as “very quiet”.

MX spot is currently valued at $1,200-1,220/tonne (€888-903/tonne), PX is pegged at $1,380-1,400/tonne and orthoxylene (OX) is valued at $1,340-1,360/tonne.

All quotes are on an FOB (free on board) Rotterdam basis.

Little trading activity has taken place this week because buyers are covered with contract volumes, sources added.

In addition, spot buying interest typically slows leading up to contract settlement time, which is traditionally at the start of the new month.

In terms of contracts, the September PX contract price settled at an increase of €30/tonne when sentiment in the US was bullish and there was renewed domestic demand following the European summer holidays. Prices in Asia were also steady-to-firm at the time of settlement.

The Europe OX contract price also increased, but only by €5/tonne because of falling OX prices in Asia.

No indications were given as to the direction of contract prices for October.

The European PX contract price is determined by price developments in Asia. Three major PX producers in Asia have nominated their Asian Contract Price (ACP) for October at $1,540-1,550/tonne.

Prevailing weak downstream demand in the purified terephthalic acid (PTA) sector, coupled with expected tight supply conditions for PX in October, will likely pose difficulty in October PX ACP negotiations, according to market participants.

($1= €0.74)

By: Julia Meehan
+44 20 8652 3214

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