Price and market trends: US PA contract prices decrease on lower feedstock

16 May 2014 09:57 Source:ICIS Chemical Business

US phthalic anhydride (PA) contract prices for May have come down 2.0% from April on the back of a decline in the feedstock orthoxylene (OX) contract price last month, sources confirmed on 6 May.

Monthly US PA contract prices typically settle on the delta of the previous month’s OX contract.

May PA contract prices were assessed at 73.00-78.00 cents/lb ($1,609-1,720/tonne) free on board (FOB) molten, down from 74.50-79.50 cents/lb FOB molten in April, and at 74.00-81.00 cents/lb delivered (DEL) flake, down from 75.50-82.50 cents/lb DEL flake from April.

The OX contract price settled down 2.6% in April from the previous month, following the weakening trend in Asia OX spot prices and soft US mixed xylenes (MX) prices, market sources said.

Second-quarter demand for PA is good and in line with typical levels for this time of year, market sources said.

Market participants have not seen anything unusual and expect the market to remain stable. Volumes have been consistent with levels seen this time last year, despite prices coming down in the quarter, said one seller.

By Feliza Mirasol