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 Q3 2015
Europe MX prices should maintain the link to gasoline with few alternative outlets for material. Availability is limited with producers choosing to extract minimum values from the gasoline pool for blend value. However, blending demand is also expected to weaken as the summer draws to an end. Downstream PX demand should weaken further as the summer bottling season draws to a close.
US mixed xylene (MX) values are expected to decline as demand for MX as an additive in summer fuels declines. MX is often used as an octane booster in fuels ahead of the US summer driving season and is often kept in refineries for this purpose, limiting supply for downstream chemical chains. With summer fuels blending demand nearing the end of its season, supply for US MX is expected to loosen.
Asian MX market outlook hinges on the supply, demand and sentiments in the downstream PX and PTA markets. Isomer-grade xylene in the region would see reductions on the back of turnarounds but weak end-users demand might balance the supply/demand fundamentals. Moreover, some players expect prices to soften as squeezed margins would push some PX makers to sell their feedstock isomer-grade xylene material in the spot trading arena, further lengthening supply.
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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.