– PX M1, M2 show backwardation
– MX premiums stable; market still quiet
European orthoxylene spot prices gained $10/mt Tuesday to close at $935/mt FOB Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp, as supply tightness continued and European participants looked to Asia for material. In particular, this was due to strong gains in the US orthoxylene market, which saw US Gulf Coast spot prices rise to 41.75-42.75 cents/lb ($920-$942/mt) FOB USG last Tuesday, a rise of $110/mt since February 1 and increasing to around parity to Northwest European prices. “US is not an option,” a trader said. “There are offers there [from Asia].” In the mixed xylenes market, activity was still thin and premiums were unchanged on the day at $160/mt CIF ARA February and $153/mt CIF ARA March. Mixed xylenes seemed unaffected by products downstream, which have shown gains both on Tuesday and last week. European paraxylene gained Tuesday, showing a backwardated structure as laycans in Asia rolled forward. February closed at $1,011/mt FOB ARA, up $10/mt, while March gained $5/mt to close at $1,006/mt FOB ARA. As laycans rolled in Asia, a clearer picture could be seen for strong April demand. Despite the strong demand for April cargoes in Asia, Europe’s main export hub, one European trader said: “There are no exports. No offers, no demand, prices don’t match.” This came despite discounts to the CFR Taiwan/China market providing gross profit margins above freight costs. Freight costs were calculated at $80/mt last Tuesday, from Rotterdam to Far East Asia. February’s gross discount to the CFR Taiwan/China H2 April laycan was calculated at $105/mt, while March showed a $104.25/mt discount to the CFR Taiwan/China H1 May laycan on Tuesday.
S&P Global assessed the February CIF ARA premium to Eurobob gasoline stable on the day at $160/mt Tuesday, with no disproving indications. The March CIF ARA premium was stable at $153/mt, maintaining its structure to February from Tuesday. February Northwest European paraxylene gained $10/mt to $1,011/mt FOB ARA, tracking the CFR Taiwan/China H2 April laycan. March was assessed up $5/mt at $1,006/mt FOB ARA, tracking the CFR Taiwan/China H1 May laycan. The paraxylene 5-30 day forward spot price was assessed as the average of the period at $1,007.25/mt FOB ARA, up $6.25/mt. Orthoxylene was assessed up $10/mt at $935/mt FOB ARA, taking into account an indication that values were “above $930/mt.” Another indication saw prices as high as $950/mt but was not corroborated.