Xylenes-Mixed xylenes Prices, markets & analysis
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Xylenes -mixed xylenes Overview Transcript
The mixed xylenes or MX stream is an important raw chemical that can be broadly divided into two grades, the isomer grade and the solvent grade.
Isomer grade is generally used for the production of paraxylene and orthoxylene, while the solvent grade is used in the solvent and coating application sectors. .
The Asian isomer grade MX market typically sees around 40,000 tonnes of deep sea material being shipped from the US per month as the region is net short. However, with fresh capacity emerging in the key Chinese market, trade flows could fundamentally be altered. .
A large proportion of isomer grade MX trade is contract based, with the spot-trade arena dominated by major Korean players. Pricing for both isomer grade and solvent grades mixed xylenes are heavily influenced by movements in crude futures as well as sentiment in the downstream markets..
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Xylenes-Mixed xylenes: Market overview
Updated to Q2 2015
In the US barge mixed xylene (MX) market, a likely stronger summer gasoline-blending season could increase MX demand in the near-term, providing price support for MX despite still-volatile crude and a recently softer gasoline market, where consumption is down and stocks are higher. Downstream MX demand for paraxylene (PX) production has been weak, despite the restart of a purified terephthalic acid (PTA) facility downstream of PX.
Europe MX prices should continue to be tied to its blend value, with gasoline likely to be the principal avenue for product. There is some hope of a pick-up in demand for isomerisation with the start of the summer bottling season. In addition, favourable exchange rates and feedstock costs in Europe could increase exports of PX and MX.
In Asia, the isomer-grade xylene market in Asia will continue closely tracking its upstream crude and downstream PX market trends, resulting in volatility in the spot-trading arena. A slew of turnarounds in the second-quarter will keep supply tight, but price rallies might be impeded by slow demand from PX makers as margins continued to remain in the red.
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About Xylenes-Mixed xylenes
The major use for xylenes is in the production of paraxylene (PX) and orthoxylene (OX). They are also used as a solvent in the paints industry and for other solvent uses.
Mixed xylenes (MX) are produced by high-severity catalytic reforming of naphtha from which the C8 stream contains OX, metaxylene and PX, as well as ethylbenzene (EB).
Xylenes are also obtained from the pyrolysis gas (pygas) stream in a naphtha steam cracker and by toluene disproportionation (TDP) and transalkylation.
Mixed xylenes occur as a colourless, flammable liquid or crystals, with a characteristic odour. They are insoluble in water and miscible with most organic solvents.
Mixed xylenes are a clear, sweet and flammable aromatic liquid or vapour. They are harmful or fatal if swallowed or inhaled, causing respiratory tract irritation, eye and skin irritation or an allergic skin reaction.