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.
Updated to Q4 2019
Asian mixed xylenes (MX) supply decreased slightly on the back of a planned maintenance shutdown by a key northeast Asian producer. Rising feedstock prices generated margin concerns among producers and operating rates of MX production via toluene disproportionation stayed below full capacity.
Asian mixed xylenes (MX) demand decreased, resulting from a downstream paraxylene (PX) plant shutdown in China, which relied on purchased MX from the spot market. In South Korea, several downstream plants were operating at below full capacity.
Patchy supply from several plants going into the fourth quarter – due to maintenance or some supply on allocation, be it in northwest or southern Europe – did not, as expected, majorly impact availability. For example, one supplier understood to have maintenance in early Q4 was able to offer toluene and xylenes from another of its plants. As expected, a central European maintenance in the fourth quarter did not significantly affect western European market balance.
Higher than expected blending demand persisted throughout Q4, keeping premiums over gasoline firm when they might have seasonally slipped for blending. Premiums for chemical products were softer. Downstream chemical demand was weak due to persistently low spreads with markets such as paraxylenes (PX) and orthoxylenes (OX).
We offer the following regional Xylenes-Mixed xylenes analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the Xylenes-Mixed xylenes marketplace.
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Xylenes are produced, along with benzene and toluene, from a reformer after running naphtha through an ethylene cracker.
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.
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