ICIS has a network of locally based reporters providing coverage of regional Xylenes-Mixed xylenes markets. They provide not just pricing information, but an in-depth understanding of the factors driving prices and market fluctuations.
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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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Updated to Q3 2016
Isomer-grade xylene was on a downtrend for most of July due to swelling June and July supply, coupled with large fluctuations in exchange rates against the US dollar, which dampened buying interest from northeast Asian end-users.
The weak PX/isomer-grade xylene spread and competitively priced yuan-denominated cargoes had lowered import demand from China.
Discussions started improving in August as gains in crude oil, naphtha and limited September supply had bolstered market sentiment. September and October cargo availability was deemed tight due to regional maintenance, resulting in the market structure flipping from a contango of $2/tonne on 15 August to parity. In Japan, Idemitsu Kosan will restart its reformer based in Tokuyama at the end of September after a month’s worth of maintenance. JX Nippon Oil & Energy has planned a turnaround at its Negishi aromatics unit from late September to end October.
In South Korea, S-Oil has shut its two reformers and two toluene disproportionate process (TDP) units in Incheon for a routine overhaul. Isomer-grade xylene production is expected to resume at the end of October. South Korea’s SK Global Chemicals (SKGC) has ceased operations at its Incheon aromatics unit to conduct maintenance works with restart in mid-October.
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