US mixed xylene contract settlement expected soon

27 February 2014 22:48 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US March mixed xylene (MX) contract is expected to settle soon, market participants said on Thursday, although there are no clear indications as to which direction it will head.

The MX contract has typically followed direction from spot prices and has usually settled after the US benzene contract.

March benzene contracts are expected to settle on Friday.

Current MX spot prices are at $3.60-3.70/gal FOB (free on board), which is above the February contract price of $3.59/gal FOB.

The January MX contract was settled at $3.70/gal.

The current US MX contract is between Marathon and BP.

Citgo said in late 2013 that it would not participate in US MX contract negotiations for 2014, according to a source close to the company.

It was not the first time aromatics players have withdrawn from the MX contract process.

Back in January 2012, the MX contract between BP and Citgo was dissolved, as negotiations were said to be not representative of the entire market and the negotiated volume was deemed too small.

Prior to that, in March 2011, Total and Koch Industries ended their MX contract arrangement.

By Brian Balboa