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 Q3 2016
European MX demand should see an upturn in Q3 this year with the summer driving season supporting consumption of mixed aromatics from the gasoline blending sector. However, stocks have been built up in anticipation of this, which is keeping downward pressure on gasoline prices so far in July. The downstream polyester season could also support consumption of MX in Q3, although European players do not expect to see any significant impact on spot demand.
US Gulf MX spot prices strengthened in the second quarter owing to stronger demand for use as an octane component during the summer driving season, as well as rising prices in the downstream paraxylene (PX) market, which also enters its high season in the summer months. MX demand is likely to remain firm at the start of the third quarter as the summer season remains in force, although pricing may come under pressure by the end of the quarter as the summer season nears its end.
Asian demand for MX will remain stable-to-soft amid lengthening spot supply stemming from start-ups of new plants in Japan and China. In addition, demand from China would falter in the third quarter as the government had released a list of planned shutdowns for downstream plants due to the G20 summit.
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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.