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US toluene-based chemical margins dented by lower benzene, xylenes FIPHARM(GROUP)CO.,LIMITED | 2017-05-22 18:12:13 | Reading:2401 US toluene-fed chemical production margins have posted notable declines thus far in May, driven lower by weaker benzene and xylene prices as well as a slight increase in toluene, sources said. 

Hydrodealkylation (HDA), toluene disproportionation (TDP) and Mobil select toluene disproportionation (MSTDP) units have all posted declines in May, with HDA margins falling into negative territory, estimated Tuesday at minus $14.71/mt, down $51.08 since the end of April. TDP margins remained in positive territory, down $49.08 since the end of April to $41.19/mt. MSTDP margins saw similar declines, falling $42.16 during the same period to be estimated Tuesday at $46.34/mt. 

The declines have been driven in part by stronger spot toluene values, which rebounded in May. Feedstock toluene prices were near 211 cents/gal FOB USG to finish April, but jumped to as high as 220 cents/gal during the first week of May and have scaled back slightly since, trading at 218 cents/gal FOB USG on Monday. 

A more significant factor is the decline seen in US spot benzene values, which have shed 13 cents/gal during May, closing Monday at 254 cents/gal DDP USG. May was seen offered Tuesday morning at 250 cents/gal DDP USG with no corresponding bids heard. The weakness in benzene can be attributed to lackluster derivative demand from the styrene segment and by a near-$60 drop in FOB Korean benzene prices this month. 

In addition, spot paraxylene prices have softened as well, leading to further erosion of margins. US spot PX values have fallen $20 in May with prompt material assessed Monday at $735/mt FOB USG. US paraxylene prices have been driven lower by falling prices in Asia as well as by weaker mixed xylene values.


http://www.chemnet.com 


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