The xylenes markets are covered by ICIS weekly in Asia, Europe and the US and daily in Asia. Independent and unbiased price assessments are quoted for isomer and solvent grade in Asia, solvent grade in Europe and for mixed xylenes in the US. Our network of locally-based reporters can provide you with trustworthy and reliable information upon which you can make informed business choices.
Our news and analysis within the commentary of the reports includes overviews, upstream and downstram news, production updates, tank inventories, outlooks, demand and supply and any other factors pertinent to the market at the time.
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 2016
In the US Gulf, mixed xylene (MX) spot prices climbed late in Q1 2016 amid increasing demand for it as an octane component in summer gasoline blends and amid increasing global prices in PX and polyester markets. Prices are likely to draw support from a seasonal increase in octane demand through most of Q2, but market conditions may soften towards the end of the quarter as the US summer fuels season draws to a close.
The European xylenes market will continue to track gasoline prices into Q2, with demand driven by demand for octane boosters from the blending sector. Without any significant upward change expected for crude oil pricing, this dynamic is likely to hold in Europe. Demand for mixed aromatics and reformate is coming from markets such as Asia and West Africa with the rise of fuel consumption in these regions. Extraction rates remain low amid limited chemicals demand for xylenes in Europe, although consumption may improve in the upcoming polyester season. Demand for isomer-grade xylenes in Asia is expected to taper off in Q2 on the back of a heavy plant maintenance schedule in the downstream PX sector.
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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.