– PX ECP fully settles at Eur995/mt, up Eur35/mt
– OX ECP negotiations still ongoing
European paraxylene spot prices fell to below orthoxylene spot prices on Monday for the first time since December 2018. Losses for March and April delivery PX were led by falls in purified terephthalic acid futures trading in China, as well as the rolling forward of PX laycans on a CFR Taiwan/China basis, with a backwardated structure between May and June now. March was assessed at $986/mt FOB ARA, down $16.50/mt from Friday, while April was assessed at $980/mt FOB ARA, down $22.50/mt from Friday, tracking movements in the CFR Taiwan/China H2 May and H1 June laycans respectively. In contract news, the European contract price for February fully settled at Eur995/mt, up Eur35/mt from February, sources confirmed Monday. European OX spot prices, on the other hand, remain robust and were stable on the day at $1,000/mt FOB ARA. Around 7,000 mt is expected to arrive in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp hub at the end of March and beginning of April, according to a source. As such, April is expected to be balanced, with tightness returning in May, the source added. The lack of European-origin material has complicated contract price negotiations this month, according to sources, with no full settlement yet reached for March. In the European mixed xylenes market, activity remained thin, with spot cargoes for April not yet nominated by producers. Premiums to Eurobob gasoline were stable at $145/mt CIF ARA March and $138/mt CIF ARA April. A fire at a petrochemical storage plant near Houston, Texas, is expected to have an impact on the European market, as US participants hunt for volumes. The affected tanks, at the Intercontinental Terminals Company’s petrochemical tank farm along the Houston Ship Channel, were said to contain naphtha, xylenes and toluene. Lengthening supply in the European MX market may well coincide well with any extra demand from the US market, traders said.
S&P Global Platts assessed the March mixed xylene CIF ARA premium to Eurobob at $145/mt Monday, stable from Friday, amid no disproving indications. The April MX CIF ARA premium was stable at $138/mt, maintaining its structure to March. Paraxylene for March fell $16.50/mt to $986/mt FOB ARA, tracking the CFR Taiwan/China H2 May laycan. April fell $22.50/mt to $980/mt FOB ARA, tracking the CFR Taiwan/China H1 June laycan. The paraxylene 5-30 day forward spot price was assessed as the average of the period at $982/mt FOB ARA, down $20.50/mt on day. Orthoxylene was assessed stable at $1,000/mt FOB ARA, amid no disproving indications.