HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US August orthoxylene (OX) contract settled down by 4.50 cents/lb ($99/tonne) this week at 60 cents/lb this week, according to trade sources on Friday.
The decline follows the recent drop in US mixed xylenes (MX) prices, which came on the back of falling energy futures and weak demand.
The July OX contract had been settled at 64.50 cents/lb FOB (free on board).
The OX contract typically follows direction from the MX market and from prices in the Asian OX market.
The US (MX) market saw spot prices come down this week, on the back of continued weak demand and declining energy futures. The decline represented the fourth consecutive week that MX prices have come down because of lacklustre demand and supply availability.
OX is primarily used to make phthalic anhydride (PA), a key intermediate in the production of plasticizers, which go into polymers like flexible polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
Major US OX producers include ExxonMobil Chemical and Flint Hills Resources.