Published On: Fri, Jul 16th, 2010

US July PX benchmark falls by 1.75 cents/lb to 8-month low

HOUSTON ,July 14-US paraxylene (PX) contracts for July settled at 45.00 cents/lb ($992/tonne, € 84/tonne), a 1.75 cent drop from

June and an eight-month low, a buyer and seller said on Wednesday.

The US contract, settled on DEL (delivered) US Gulf terms, was finalised within market expectations and came amid weakening aromatics values and PX price decreases in other regions.

The US benchmark kept global contract prices at near parity as the settlement was done within 0.06 cents/lb of the July Asian Contract Price (ACP), which is the measuring stick for benchmarks in the rest of the world’s regions, and within a penny of the European price decrease.

The price was at a monthly low not seen since October 2009 when the benchmark was split at 41.50 cents/lb and 42.00 cents/lb.

Downward pricing pressure in the US market came as peak polyethylene terephthalate (PET) production was finishing up for the summer season while purified terephthalic acid (PTA) supply length in Asia tampered any price spike ideas across the globe.

If Asian prices were lower than US values and supply remained ample, PX competition from Asia could arise in the US. Therefore, US prices trimmed in tandem with the ACP.

US PX supply could also prove ample with the recent restart of BP’s No.1 PX production line at its Texas City plant in Texas.

Major US PX producers include ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron Phillips Chemical and Flint Hills Resources.


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