17 February 2014 10:17 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Steady downstream demand and some expectation of higher Asian pricing is helping support the European orthoxylene (OX) market, sources said on Monday.
While the Asian OX market saw prices ease lower mid-February amid softer upstream pricing and bearishness for co-product paraxylene (PX), lower production rates among suppliers are likely to keep supply balanced-to-tight in the coming weeks.
There is also talk that a major Indian producer will be undergoing maintenance at its OX facility next month, curtailing supply in the region, which could support a price rebound in the near term.
In Europe, downstream phthalic anhydride (PA) sentiment in Europe is showing signs of improvement this month, with the closure of Arkema’s 90,000 tonne/year PA plant in Chauny, France, creating a more balanced supply/demand dynamic.
Other players noted seasonally healthy offtake from the plasticizers and UPR (unsaturated polyester resins) sectors. However, one PA producer is said to be shutting down in March for planned maintenance, and this could potentially limit OX demand next month.
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