An initial Northwest European paraxylene contract price for April has been fully confirmed at Eur 900/mt (US$1,244/mt) FD Northwest Europe, a rollover from the March contract price, as confirmed by a producer involved in the negotiations in Platts. The settlement was reported settled by Total Petrochemicals, with sources reporting Shell Chemicals also settled as producers. Cepsa Quimica and Oxynova confirmed settling as consumers. This is the second contract to be settled in April, following an agreement concluded at Eur925/mt FD NWE on April 15, an increase of Eur25/mt from the March contract.
This first contract price, however, failed to gain traction in the market, and some producers, as well as other consumers, sought a rollover as a reflection of derivative-market fundamentals, which were characterized by many as weak. Downward pressure on the European PX market in recent weeks has been caused by a lack of demand from the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp fiber/polyester market and poor arbitrage economics to other regions. n addition, production margins have been squeezed by strong demand from the gasoline blending pool, which has attracted feedstock xylenes and toluene. The same source pointed to the prospect of capacity closures globally as a measure that producers would have to resort to in order to balance both PX and derivative PTA supply. In Asia some of the PX capacities are starting to shut down leading to recovery in PX prices. However, as PTA plants have started to shutdown, PX prices have started falling again. Market sentiment remained bearish amid falling purified terephthalic acid prices and high PX inventories.