Paraxylene prices dropped for the second consecutive week in Asian markets in the week ended 22 May. However, prices were lifted week end as upstream and downstream prices were firmer. Meanwhile, JX nominated its June contract price at US$960 a ton. During the week, orthoxylene prices fell US$31 a ton CFR China and FOB Korea on weaker demand and alongside lower co-product. This led to Sinopec lowering its OX price by 200 Yuan a ton.
The spread between paraxylene and isomer-grade mixed xylenes narrowed to US$93 as producers prepared to restart significant capacity after maintenance. Meanwhile US paraxylene spot declined US$5 a ton in quiet trade and Asia remained the outlet for US product. May contracts were settled higher. European paraxylene spot rose for two consecutive days but were down US$37 on the week. Asian paraxylene markers rose US$17 on Friday but fell US$26.50 a ton FOB Korea on the week. Sinopec lowered orthoxylene price by 200 Yuan a ton while the week-on-week fall was US$31 to US$950 a ton CFR China and US$923 a ton FOB Korea.
In US, spot paraxylene fell US$5 this week, assessed at US$875 a ton FOB USG. In Europe, paraxylene price rose Thursday and Friday to be assessed at US$815 a ton FOB ARA, but was down US$37 on the week.
Downstream purified terephthalic acid spot prices also fell US$15 on the week in Asia as participants were becoming increasingly bearish, expecting spot prices to remain under pressure in the near to mid-term, given the growing inventory and falling paraxylene cost. In China, buying interest was lackluster and counter offers from polyester producers fell gradually to US$720-730 a ton, with trading values following down to US$730-735 a ton.
In US, May PTA price is likely to rise as supply improved and May paraxylene contract prices expected to settle higher. April PTA price was set at US cents 45.2 per pound. The formula-derived May US PTA price remained unsettled as the market waited for the April paraxylene contract prices to conclude. In Europe, PTA price rose Euro53 on the week in line with the paraxylene May contract price, which was fully settled.
Courtesy: Weekly PriceWatch Report
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