– FOB Korea April bids up to $682/mt
– China VAT favorable to MX
Isomer grade mixed xylene cargoes of 3,000 mt were assessed higher by $11/mt day on day, at $683/mt FOB Korea on Monday, with the highest bid heard at $682/mt FOB Korea for second-half April-loading cargo. Asian sources said that Asian paraxylene prices were falling like nine pins after the lowering of the value added tax to 13% from 16% was announced by the Chinese government on Friday. An Asian trader said this was because MX cargoes were in demand from Chinese buyers, who would probably use them for blending. There were plenty of Chinese CFR MX bids in the market, he added, from Chinese traders, who may import the cargoes and then sell them to smaller gasoline blenders. A 3,000-mt Chinese MX bid was heard at around $685-$690/mt CFR East China for April loading, said a source, but no deals were heard done. The trader also remarked that lower Chinese duties had given MX imports a $25-$30/mt price advantage, which was spurring demand. Although Asian sources have said that there are plenty of MX cargoes available in Asia, especially since major refineries in Asia are going through turnarounds, the news from China was prompting sellers to raise prices in a bid to make profits.
Isomer-MX was assessed higher by $11/mt day on day at $683/mt FOB Korea and higher by $10/mt at $697/mt CFR Taiwan Monday. The markers take the average of the third and fourth half-month laycans, currently H2 April and H1 May. No bids or offers were registered during the Platts Market on Close assessment process. The highest bid heard for H2 April loading cargoes was $682/mt FOB Korea. No bids/offers were heard for CFR Taiwan. The CFR Taiwan marker was assessed higher largely tracking FOB Korea prices. The above rationale applies to the following market data codes: PHAUV00 for FOB Korea and PHAUT00 for CFR Taiwan.