PODCAST: Europe xylenes and toluene spot demand weak

Author: ICIS Editorial


LONDON (ICIS)--Mixed xylenes (MX) and toluene reports editor Zubair Adam discusses demand conditions on the European spot market with Nick Cleeve - editor of the downstream paraxylene (PX) and orthoxylene (OX) reports.

MX is traded in two grades. The isomer-grade xylene is mainly used as a feedstock for PX and OX production, while the main application for solvent grade is as a raw material for dye, organic pigment, perfume and medicines, as well as a general solvent for paint and agricultural pesticides.

The main chemical use of toluene is to make benzene and xylenes. The product is also used as a solvent that is present in paint thinners, nail polish remover, as well as in the manufacturing of TDI, nylon and plastic bottles.

PX is predominantly used as a feedstock to produce purified terephthalic acid (PTA). Other outlets include dimethyl terephthalate (DMT), herbicides and solvents. Both PTA and DMT are used to make polyethylene terephthalate (PET).

OX is the second largest of the three commercial isomers of xylene and it is used almost entirely in the manufacturing of phthalic anhydride (PA), which is converted to plasticizers, alkyd and polyester resins.