The xylenes markets are covered by ICIS weekly in Asia, Europe and the US and daily in Asia. Independent and unbiased price assessments are quoted for isomer and solvent grade in Asia, solvent grade in Europe and for mixed xylenes in the US. Our network of locally-based reporters can provide you with trustworthy and reliable information upon which you can make informed business choices.
Our news and analysis within the commentary of the reports includes overviews, upstream and downstram news, production updates, tank inventories, outlooks, demand and supply and any other factors pertinent to the market at the time.
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Xylenes-Mixed xylenes news and market information products from ICIS
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Xylenes-Mixed xylenes: Market overview
Updated to Q3 2017
US mixed xylenes (MX) prices may see some firmness at the start of the third quarter given the narrow spread between feedstock reformate and MX seen towards the end of Q2. MX availability is likely to remain sufficient into the third quarter as most US refineries operated at high rates throughout the second quarter while this year’s summer gasoline season has been disappointing. On the chemical side, downstream demand for paraxylene (PX) will provide some support to MX pricing during the last few months of the summer bottled beverage season, although the high season for beverages will begin to wane by the end of the quarter.
The European mixed xylenes market has been recently faced with some supply concerns that have made availability looking balanced to slightly tight. Overall demand was cited as good with the purified terephthalic acid (PTA) market performing quite well, as downstream polyethylene terephthalate (PET) demand is increasing due to warmer weather conditions in some parts of Europe. On the export side, there seem to be some good opportunities to destinations like India where a local producer was said to have recently ramped up production at its paraxylene (PX) plant.
Asian isomer-grade xylene is set to weaken in the next quarter as a result of capacity expansions and lower demand. Chinese demand for isomer-grade xylene is weakening with most expecting it to continue worsen into the next quarter due to a surge in domestic production. Impending consumption tax on gasoline blending components might encourage some Chinese buying interest.
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About Xylenes-Mixed xylenes
The major use for xylenes is in the production of paraxylene (PX) and orthoxylene (OX). They are also used as a solvent in the paints industry and for other solvent uses.
Mixed xylenes (MX) are produced by high-severity catalytic reforming of naphtha from which the C8 stream contains OX, metaxylene and PX, as well as ethylbenzene (EB).
Xylenes are also obtained from the pyrolysis gas (pygas) stream in a naphtha steam cracker and by toluene disproportionation (TDP) and transalkylation.
Mixed xylenes occur as a colourless, flammable liquid or crystals, with a characteristic odour. They are insoluble in water and miscible with most organic solvents.
Mixed xylenes are a clear, sweet and flammable aromatic liquid or vapour. They are harmful or fatal if swallowed or inhaled, causing respiratory tract irritation, eye and skin irritation or an allergic skin reaction.