Paraxylene prices fall in Asia amid rising benzene

17-Feb-12
Rising by US$3.75/ton, benzene in Asia rose to US$1187.75/mt FOB Korea on Thursday as per Platts. In the US, benzene spiked by nine dollars to US$1246/mt FOB USG. "Asian benzene supply for the prompt months is still very tight. Current prices look attractive, but I have no cargoes to sell," a South Korean trader said. The European benzene price was assessed on Wednesday at US$1265/mt CIF ARA. The FOB Korea toluene marker was assessed at US$1199/mt Thursday, up US$3.50/mt from the day before. The US toluene price was down on Wednesday to US$1228/mt FOB USG, but remained the highest globally. The European toluene price was assessed Wednesday at US$1183/mt FOB Rdam. Asian paraxylene prices fell by eight dollars in one day to be assessed at US$1626.50/mt CFR Taiwan/China, on Thursday. The market was dragged down by selling pressure throughout the day amid weak downstream purified terephthalic acid prices as well as related futures values. The Asian polyester fiber chain market was under pressure Thursday after news that China's polyester fiber producers had cut prices Yuan 100-200/mt to clear out high inventories. The news slashed prices of polyester fibers throughout Thursday. In the physical PTA market, the CFR China PTA price fell by US$17/mt from Wednesday to be assessed at US$1184/mt Thursday. The US paraxylene price was assessed Wednesday at US$1575/mt FOB USG. The European price remained the lowest globally at US$1534/mt FOB Rdam. Asian styrene monomer for H1 April climbed by US$8 on Thursday, to US$1448/mt FOB Korea, mainly as the Chinese domestic market gets better and East China inventory gets reduced. The inventory in the east of China was heard falling 4,900 mt from last week to 143,800 mt this week, but some sources noted this was still a relatively high level, keeping pressure on prices.
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