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Paraxylene-Orthoxylene Asia Transcript
ICIS publishes both a daily and a weekly report for paraxylene or PX, in Asia as well as assessments for the cost and freight (CFR) Taiwan and China main port (CMP) price. The report also includes the monthly Asia contract price (ACP) as well as the China domestic delivered quote.
Information in the weekly report includes details of all spot transactions, bids and offers as wells an in-depth discussion of demand-supply fundamentals and any current production problems.
The PX daily and price alert service help subscribers keep on top of all the latest market moves.
ICIS engages with a wide cross-section of market players: producers, traders and consumers in order to eliminate bias and to ensure accurate price assessments that provide useful benchmarks for the industry.
In this way the ICIS CFR Taiwan and China main port quotes as well as the published Asia contract price is used for contract settlement by a growing number of market players.
Together with paraxylene, ICIS provides coverage on the orthoxylene or OX stream. Prices for the free on board (FOB) and CFR northeast Asia markets as well as assessments for the CFR India and southeast Asia are also provided together with prices of isomer grade xylene, paraxylene and phthalic anhydride. This provides our subscribers with a comprehensive view of the upstream, downstream and related products market.
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Updated to Q1 2016
The first quarter was marked by wide spreads between feedstock naphtha and paraxylene (PX). Market participants were surprised by the extremely healthy margins of at least $400/tonne.
This led to increased operating rates at PX units in Asia, with plants in northeast and southeast Asia, as well as in the Middle East and South Asia, running at high rates of 85-90%. There were also plants that ran at above 90%.
Spot liquidity was thin, as traders took on wait-and-see positions for most parts before entering into limited trading activity.
There were cargoes moving from Asia to the US, most noticeably of which was JX Nippon Oil & Energy's sending of term volumes to the US' east coast from joint venture plant Ulsan Aromatics.
Downstream demand was subdued, with major purified terephthalic acid (PTA) plants undertaking maintenances and shutdowns in the face of thin demand from downstream polyester producers. Polyester producers were facing a lull period due to the major Lunar New Year holidays being celebrated in Asian countries like China, Taiwan and South Korea.
Updated to Q2 2016
In the second quarter, northeast Asian orthoxylene (OX) discussions came under pressure on the back of weak margins and market conditions in the overall plasticizer chain.
Since mid-March, several downstream phthalic anhydride (PA) plants in China had reduced and then maintained low operating rates due to deteriorating supply and demand fundamentals from derivative plasticizer.
A few major end-users had reduced operating rates at their OX-based lines preferring to meet requirements using the cheaper alternative feedstock, naphthalene.
Several OX producers in northeast Asia had limited cargoes available for the export market due to maintenances and lowered production output stemming from better profits from co-product, paraxylene (PX).
In May and June, supply was reduced as two key regional OX producers had shut their plants for a scheduled maintenance. However, market fundamentals remained balanced as weak import demand had offset the tight supply. Moreover, buyers grew increasingly cautious in the wake of bearish downstream conditions and fluctuations in domestic currencies.
Updated to Q2 2016
PX spot price fluctuated following crude price in first quarter in 2016.
Asian paraxylene (PX) prices were assessed as firmer week on week in second quarter when oil workers in Kuwait went on strike and inventory levels of refined products dropped. ICIS assessment dropped from $820/tonne CFR Asia in early April to $775-780/tonne in the mid of April, then it rose slightly up to $824-827/tonne in the end of April.
Ningbo Zhongjin’s 1.6m tonne/year PX facility was running at 95% in April and Qingdao Lidong 800kt/year facility running at 90% since the end of February.
In May and June, prices continuedto disregard stable upstream energy prices and moved more in line with bearish downstream prices. The upcoming plant shutdowns mandated by the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau are expected to reduce demand for PX by downstream PTA and polyester factories. ICIS assessment dropped from $813-815/tonne CFR Asia in early April to $796-797/tonne in May and then rose to $822/tonne at the end of June as PTA futures rose sharply.
Ningbo Zhongjin’s 1.6m tonne/year PX facility was running at full rate in May and Zhenhai Refining and Chemical Company shut its 660,000 tonne/year PX unit from 6th May for one month There was no major settlement of ACP in May and June.
Updated to Q1 2016
Average orthoxylene (OX) spot prices in East China decreased from Chinese yuan (CNY) CNY5,025/tonne on January 4 to CNY4,950/tonne on January 19. They then increased rapidly to CNY6,500/tonne between January 26 and March 10. Prices decreased from CNY6,500/tonne on March 18 to CNY6,400/tonne on March 29.
Sinopec Yangzi ran plants at low rates, and was unable to satisfy demand from phthalic anhydride (PA) producers. Some PA producers therefore sought OX in East China. During the period, domestic OX producers increased their offer six times, from CNY4,850/tonne to CNY6,300/tonne, which provided support to traders' efforts to raise prices.
Because PA prices fell significantly, PA producers had little interest in OX from East China and traders slightly cut their sales prices.
ICIS publishes both a daily and weekly report for paraxylene (PX) in Asia as well as price assessments for the cost and freight (CFR) Taiwan and China Main Port (CMP) markets.
The report includes the monthly Asia contract price (ACP) as well as the Chinese domestic-delivered quote.
Information in the weekly report also includes details of all spot transactions, bids and offers, as well as an in depth discussion of demand-supply fundamentals and any production problems.
The PX daily and price alert service helps subscribers keep on top of the latest market price movements.
ICIS engages with a wide cross-section of market players, producers, traders and consumers to eliminate bias and ensure accurate price assessments that provide a useful benchmark for the industry.
In this way, the ICIS CFR Taiwan and CMP quote, as well as the published ACP, is used for contract settlement by a growing number of market players.
Prices for the free on board (FOB) or CFR Asia markets, as well as assessments for CFR India and southeast Asia (SE Asia), are provided together with prices for isomer grade xylene, PX and phthalic anhydride (PA).
This provides our subscribers with a comprehensive view of conditions in the upstream, downstream and related products market.
ICIS collects pricing data on a wide range of chemical, energy and fertilizer products, including Paraxylene-Orthoxylene. Our extensive experience in price reporting means we can offer you access to historical data dating back more than 20 years for certain commodities.
Our time series of pricing data enables you to build and model trends, to get a view of where markets might be heading. The data service includes charting functionality, allowing you to chart and download multiple data series for manipulation in your own internal models. You can also export data to Excel via the ICIS dashboard service.
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ICIS price assessments are based on information gathered from a wide cross-section of the market, comprising consumers, producers, traders and distributors from more than 250 reporters world-wide. Confirmed deals, verified by both buyer and seller, provide the foundation of our price assessments.
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