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 Q1 2016
Isomer-grade xylene started the year on a downtrend as market sentiment was dented by the drops in upstream energy and downstream paraxylene (PX) markets. In January, market confidence was shaken by historical low oil prices, a rout in global equities markets and depreciation of the yuan.
In January and February, Taiwan’s Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Corp (FCFC) had procured close to 45,000 tonnes of February-arrival isomer-grade xylene cargoes. The end-user was looking to stock up on their feedstock inventories ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays amid previous mechanical issues at their cracker, helping to prop prices up.
Demand from China remained sluggish for most of the quarter as end-users preferred to procure cargoes from the domestic market.
Cargo availability for March was curtailed by a heavy turnaround schedule beginning in March, which kept offers to a minimum. In South Korea and Japan, a total of four producers had shut their plants for scheduled maintenances of 30-45 days.
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ICIS price assessments are based on information gathered from a wide cross-section of the market, comprising consumers, producers, traders and distributors from more than 250 reporters world-wide. Confirmed deals, verified by both buyer and seller, provide the foundation of our price assessments.
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