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US OX contract declines 2 cents/lb in March to 69.5 cents/lb

ICIS News : 8-Mar-13 23:02

NEW YORK (ICIS)--The March contract price for US orthoxylene (OX) was settled down by 2 cents/lb ($44/tonne, 33/tonne) from February values on the back of weaker raw material pricing trends, particularly related to Asian markets, market sources said on Friday.

The US OX contract for March is at 69.50 cents/lb FOB (free on board), down from 71.50 cents/lb FOB in January. Meanwhile, the February contract price was a rollover from January values, sources said.

US market players said they are watching trends in the Asian raw material markets because they use that as the basis of their own negotiations. Asian OX prices have been declining in recent weeks.

US spot OX prices were notionally down, also by 2 cents/lb, to 68-69 cents/lb FOB export because Asian spot OX prices were assessed at a decline, according to ICIS.

Meanwhile, the March contract for US mixed xylenes (MX) settled at a 6-cent/gal decline to $4.40/gal, trade participants confirmed on Tuesday.

The MX contract was settled on Monday and was down because of weak demand and a late February decline in MX spot prices. The drop also comes after the March benzene contract settled lower by 11 cents/gal last week.

The monthly OX pricing trend is tied to the MX market, as well as movement in toluene and benzene.

OX is primarily used to make phthalic anhydride (PA), a key intermediate in the production of plasticizers, which are used to make products such as flexible polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

Major US OX producers include ExxonMobil Chemical and Flint Hills Resources.

($1 = 0.76)

By Feliza Mirasol
+1 713 525 2653

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