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Updated to Q2 2018
Scheduled turnarounds at PX facilities in Asia, coupled with several hiccups at the startup of two new PX facilities within the region resulted in supply remaining snug in the second quarter. Saudi Arabia’s PetroRabigh’s new 1.35m tonne/year PX facility faced several technical issues, while delays at Vietnam’s Nghi Son’s 700,000 tonne/year PX unit tightened supply further. There was also a lack of deep-sea arbitrage cargoes into Asia, keeping supply limited.
The second quarter tends to be the seasonal manufacturing period in Asia, with healthy margins seen in the downstream markets, keeping PX demand strong within the region. Demand was also strong on pre-buying activities, with end-users stocking up PX inventories ahead of the planned turnarounds at PX facilities within the region. Healthy operating rates at downstream polyester units had kept run rates at existing PTA facilities high.
In the key China market, orthoxylene (OX) is in oversupply. As a result, key domestic producers lowered their OX list prices towards the end of the second quarter. Even so, this did little to spur buying interest as most buyers were meeting their requirements with contractual volumes. Consequently, shore tank inventories in east China remained high during the quarter. Meanwhile, most producers still prefer to produce more paraxylene (PX) compared with the co-product OX.
Trading activities in the key China market were fairly subdued as interest remained limited due to high domestic inventories. As a result, discussions and interest in imported OX product remained low among Chinese buyers. Outside China, buyers were also less keen to buy due to many upcoming turnarounds at downstream Asian phthalic anhydride (PA) plants. Meanwhile, most buyers in southeast Asia and India are relying on contractual volumes to meet their OX requirements.
Updated to Q4 2016
Asian paraxylene prices were bolstered by bullish uptrends in the crude oil and naphtha markets. ICE Brent crude futures hit their highest level since October 2015. Crude prices rallied after OPEC members reached an agreement to cut production to 32.5m bbl/day from 1 January.
New supplier Reliance Industries was also heard to have concluded some term negotiations, with supply to end-users to start from March next year. Its PX cargoes are expected to head to outlets in China and southeast Asia, with offtake by key purified terephthalic acid (PTA) producers and a state-owned refiner. The November and December PX Asia Contract Prices (ACPs) were concluded at $795/tonne CFR.
Updated to Q3 2016
The average spot prices of OX in East China increased from Chinese yuan (CNY)5,800/tonne on July 1 to CNY6,050/tonne on September 30. Meanwhile, domestic producers raised their offers three times from CNY5,650/tonne to CNY6,000/tonne from July to September.
At the beginning of July, the OX market was not stable. The price dropped from CNY5,800/tonne to CNY5,750 and then rose to CNY5,850/tonne on 28 July. From 28 July, domestic producers increased their offers from CNY5,650/tonne to CNY5,750/tonne. However, the OX price was unchanged as a result of weak downstream demand. Both buyers and sellers were still testing the water amid an uncertain outlook. Trade, meanwhile, was limited because of a widening gap between buying and selling indications. The average spot prices of OX in East China remained at CNY5,850/tonne until 21 August.
From 21 August, OX was in short supply because of a shutdown by Jinling Petrochemical Corporation. Meanwhile, phthalic anhydride (PA) factories increased operating rates. Domestic producers raised their offers twice from CNY5,750/tonne to CNY6,000/tonne from August to September. As a result, the OX price rapidly increased from CNY5,850/tonne in late August to CNY6,050/tonne in early September, and was unchanged until the end of the month.
ICIS publishes both a daily and weekly report for paraxylene (PX) in Asia as well as price assessments for the cost and freight (CFR) Taiwan and China Main Port (CMP) markets.
The report includes the monthly Asia contract price (ACP) as well as the Chinese domestic-delivered quote.
Information in the weekly report also includes details of all spot transactions, bids and offers, as well as an in depth discussion of demand-supply fundamentals and any production problems.
The PX daily and price alert service helps subscribers keep on top of the latest market price movements.
ICIS engages with a wide cross-section of market players, producers, traders and consumers to eliminate bias and ensure accurate price assessments that provide a useful benchmark for the industry.
In this way, the ICIS CFR Taiwan and CMP quote, as well as the published ACP, is used for contract settlement by a growing number of market players.
Prices for the free on board (FOB) or CFR Asia markets, as well as assessments for CFR India and southeast Asia (SE Asia), are provided together with prices for isomer grade xylene, PX and phthalic anhydride (PA).
This provides our subscribers with a comprehensive view of conditions in the upstream, downstream and related products market.
ICIS collects pricing data on a wide range of chemical, energy and fertilizer products, including Paraxylene-Orthoxylene. Our extensive experience in price reporting means we can offer you access to historical data dating back more than 20 years for certain commodities.
Our time series of pricing data enables you to build and model trends, to get a view of where markets might be heading. The data service includes charting functionality, allowing you to chart and download multiple data series for manipulation in your own internal models. You can also export data to Excel via the ICIS dashboard service.
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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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