Asian PX: Rises $3.33/mt tracking uptick in PTA futures

– Shrugs off declines upstream

– Downstream PTA remains bulllish

Asian paraxylene rose $3.33/mt from last Tuesday to be assessed at $1,124.25/mt CFR Taiwan/China Tuesday on the back of firm purified terephthalic acid futures. PTA futures for May rose Yuan 22/mt over the same period to Yuan 6,612/mt on China’s Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange. PX prices moved in the opposite direction to upstream markets Tuesday, with crude oil futures lower on the day and naphtha shedding $9.88/mt to $534.63/mt CFR Japan. In related news, South Korea’s Hyundai Cosmo Petrochemical, a 50:50 joint venture between Hyundai Oilbank and Japan’s Cosmo Oil, has confirmed plans to shut its No. 2 aromatics plant at Daesan for 20-30 days’ maintenance in May, a source close to the company said Tuesday. The plant can produce 130,000 mt/year of benzene and 800,000 mt/year of PX. Hyundai Chemical will shut its 1 million mt/year condensate-based mixed xylenes plant at the same location for 30-35 days of maintenance over H2 April-May, the company source confirmed. This coincides with the turnaround at Hyundai Cosmo Petrochemical’s No. 2 aromatics plant, which receives feedstock isomer-MX from Hyundai Chemical. In downstream markets, South Korea’s Hanwha General Chemical plans to shut its 700,000 mt/year PTA plant at Daesan at the end of March for a 3-4 weeks’ planned maintenance, a company source said Tuesday. The company has two other PTA units at Ulsan with a capacities of 400,000 mt/year and 450,000 mt/year. Market sentiment remains bullish in the Asian PTA market amid firmness in PX, with the PTA CFR China marker assessed flat from last Tuesday at $860/mt Tuesday.

RATIONALE:

Asian PX rose $3.33/mt from Tuesday to be assessed at $1,124.25/mt CFR Taiwan/China and $1,105.25/mt FOB Korea Tuesday. The markers take an average of the H2 April and H1 and H2 May laycans. The H2 April laycan was assessed at $1,122.75/mt CFR Taiwan/China, below an outstanding offer from Oman Trading International at $1,123/mt. The May laycans were assessed at $1,125/mt, below an outstanding May offer from Yisheng at $1,125.50/mt, and reflecting the level of a trade for Asian origin cargo for May between Litasco and BPSG. Value was deemed proven based on the last offer at $1,125.50/mt and the last deal at $1,125/mt. The above rationale applies to the following market data codes: PHASS05 for FOB Korea and AAQNE00 for CFR Taiwan/China.

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