Isomer-grade xylene spot prices in Asia fell by $26-30/tonne on 14 March as a result of weak spot prices of downstream paraxylene (PX) and purified terephthalic acid (PTA), according to market sources.
Several PX producers have reduced their operating rates amid negative margins and poor off-taking activity from downstream PTA makers.
Subsequently, these PX producers were sitting on surplus feedstock isomer-grade xylene cargoes and were seen reducing offers to offload their surplus in the open trading arena.
As a result, spot prices of isomer-grade xylene fell by 2.5-2.9% day on day, to levels unseen since 22 June 2012, according to ICIS data.
South Korea’s Hyundai Cosmos Petrochemical (HCP), a PX producer, sold three April-lifting parcels at $1,000-1,010/tonne FOB Korea on 14 March.
“There is no confidence in the entire polyester chain. Prices are only going to continue sliding, tracking PX and PTA prices,” a northeast Asia based trader said.