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Updated to Q3 2017
There were large quantities of open-origin cargoes coming from the Middle East, India and the US from July onwards, with up to 100,000 tonnes of spare paraxylene (PX) volumes enroute to Asia at one time. ONGC Mangalore Petrochemical Ltd and Saudi Basic Industries Corp offered numerous spot tenders throughout Q3, with traders working hard to bring the volumes to end-users in various parts of the world. A delayed startup of JBF Industry’s new downstream 1.25m tonnes/year purified terephthalic acid (PTA) plant in India also contributed to the length. PX supply was disrupted by fires at GS Caltex and SK Global Chemical’s refineries, as well as planned maintenances at PTT Global Chemical and Idemitsu Kosan’s PX units. However, this only chipped away at Q3’s PX supply, which remained considerably long.
Market players waited for the possible restart of some idled downstream purified terephthalic acid (PTA) plants that are now expected to start up in the fourth quarter. A delayed start-up of JBF Industry’s new downstream 1.25m tonne/year PTA plant in India also contributed to some length in supply in the third quarter.
Updated to Q3 2017
Regional supply was crimped by lower output as a result of gains in co-product paraxylene (PX) values. Most producers diverted raw material to PX production due to traditional peak demand in the third quarter and better earnings. As such, they only had cargoes to supply term obligations. ExxonMobil concluded negotiations with traders for their OX supply stemming from the acquisition of Jurong Aromatics’ plant based in Singapore. However, the cargoes were only available from September onwards.
Buying interest in the key import market, China, waned as phthalic anhydride (PA) makers looked to keep feedstock inventories lean due to softening downstream demand. Some plants were shut or operating rates reduced, after the Chinese government released an environmental protection plan covering the Yangtze River economic belt which places a limit on water usage. Despite a consistent monthly decline in stockpiles at shore tanks in eastern China, end-users were disinterested in imported material as they were well-covered with contractual volumes.
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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