Mixed Xylene Prices Stumble in the US Market Amid Bleak Downstream Demand
Mixed Xylene Prices Stumble in the US Market Amid Bleak Downstream Demand

Mixed Xylene Prices Stumble in the US Market Amid Bleak Downstream Demand

  • 20-Oct-2023 4:18 PM
  • Journalist: Francis Stokes

Mixed Xylene prices remained bearish in the US market moving into the second week of October 2023. The combination of falling feedstock costs and lingering tepid demand has supported the current price trend of Mixed Xylene.

According to ChemAnalyst's latest database, Mixed Xylene prices have fallen by USD 50/MT in the US market. The feedstock Naphtha prices have continued to drop over the past two weeks, resulting in the low manufacturing cost of Mixed Xylene in the domestic market. However, WTI crude oil prices have settled on the higher side in the wake of escalating geopolitical tension in the Middle East. According to the American Petroleum Institute (API), crude oil inventories in the United States fell by 4.383 million barrels for the week ending 13th October, countering the large 12.940-million-barrel rise in crude inventories in the previous week. However, it has caused a minimal impact on the prices of feedstock Naphtha as there was weak demand from the terminal market.

On the demand front, inquiries from the downstream derivative (m-xylene, p-xylene, o-xylene) industry have remained muted from the domestic market amidst weak consumption from the end-user sector. The lukewarm demand has kept exerting pressure on the seller's side as buyers either made limited purchases when needed or stayed in a wait-and-see perspective in the projection of additional decline. The deterioration in downstream demand could be attributed to underperforming end businesses and global economic uncertainties. Market players reported demand from the overseas market has also remained on the lighter side as buyers were still not actively stocking up on the material, which further weighed down the prices of Mixed Xylene. In addition, the manufacturing firms were operating at steady rates as demand from the downstream industry had not fully recovered. On the other side, the US market has faced a low water level in the Mississippi River, which is the major artery for shipments of several Petrochemicals, including Mixed Xylene, which has hindered the logistic activities in the domestic market. Furthermore, American Commercial Barge Line (ACBL), an inland barge shipper, has issued restrictions on loading drafts and tow size amid low water levels on the Mississippi River. In some parts of the river, ACBL warned of a delay of 48-72 hours as barges have less room to navigate. However, currently, it had a restricted impact on the supply of Mixed Xylene as there were enough inventories among the manufacturers, but in the coming weeks, it would impact the supply of Mixed Xylene. As a ripple effect, prices of Mixed Xylene were settled at USD 1110/MT during the week ending 13th October.

According to ChemAnalyst, prices of Mixed Xylene are anticipated to decrease due to further expectations of a decline in feedstock Naphtha prices. The demand from the downstream derivative industry is not likely to increase in the coming weeks. However, the low water level on the Mississippi River will impact the supply chain, which might lead to supply shortage in the domestic market, but it will be insufficient to drive the prices of Mixed Xylene to the high side.

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