Supply Pressure to Continue Keeping the US Mixed Xylene Market Buoyant
Supply Pressure to Continue Keeping the US Mixed Xylene Market Buoyant

Supply Pressure to Continue Keeping the US Mixed Xylene Market Buoyant

  • 02-Feb-2024 4:22 PM
  • Journalist: Harold Finch

Mixed Xylene prices have persistently risen across the US market during the last week of January 2024 supported by inadequate inventories. The feedstock prices have elevated which further supported the prices to follow an uptrend across the regional market. The market player report, demand for Mixed Xylene from the downstream Xylene derivative industries has moderated from the domestic market. Meanwhile, uncertainties about the lingering logistic mishaps and emerging risks keep several commodities including Mixed Xylene prices on edge for the long run.

Prices of Mixed Xylene have witnessed an increment of US 20/MT in the domestic market. The cost support from feedstock Naphtha was sufficient on Mixed Xylene as its prices settled on the higher end in the domestic market. Additionally, overseas crude oil prices have also increased by more than 1% on 25th January 2024, sustained by a larger-than-expected US crude draw, Chinese stimulus, and continual attacks by the Houthis in and near the Red Sea. Furthermore, energy information administrations reported a crude draw of 9.2 million barrels of 9.2 million barrels for the week to January 19. All these factors led to bullish market sentiments of Mixed Xylene among the manufacturers. Moreover, the US and the UK expands their operations on Houthis, adding to the already high level of tensions there. This might surge the overall risk sentiment in the oil markets.

Apart from this, the demand for Mixed Xylene from the downstream p-xylene, m-xylene, and o-xylene industries has been stable in the domestic market. Mostly, market transactions were mainly based on small orders. However, offtake from the other industry notably octane booster has remained tepid ahead of low seasonality and is expected to increase in the second quarter of 2024 ahead of the summer season. Meanwhile, procurements from the overseas market have remained soft due to the fear of prolonged disruption to global supply chains coupled with weak demand. Nonetheless, it had limited bearing over the prices of Mixed Xylene.  On the other side, a major producer of Mixed Xylene Eastman Chemical reported fourth-quarter sales came in at $ 2.21 billion down 7% over the year earlier. Slow demand in key markets including China and Europe has promoted chemical companies to take steps to minimize operating costs and destock inventories. Going into 2024, the company expects to see volume growth as destocking ends in most of its end-markets.

Furthermore, the availability of Mixed Xylene was observed at the lower end as the manufacturers faced a winter storm which caused several aromatic units to shut down operations or lower operating rates across the domestic market which consequently hampered the production and logistic activity of Mixed Xylene. As a ripple effect, prices of Mixed Xylene FOB Texas were settled at USD 1080/MT during the week ending 26th January 2024.

Looking ahead in the first week of February 2024, ChemAnalyst expects Mixed Xylene prices might increase in the US market in anticipation of a rise in upstream values. Meanwhile, geopolitical uncertainty, drought in the Panama Canal, as well as deep freezing temperatures, might limit the supply of Mixed Xylene. Additionally, demand however will remain tepid from both the domestic and overseas market due to off-season dullness.

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