Weak Cargo Demand Impacts the Isophthalic Acid Trade Volume in the US Market
Weak Cargo Demand Impacts the Isophthalic Acid Trade Volume in the US Market

Weak Cargo Demand Impacts the Isophthalic Acid Trade Volume in the US Market

  • 29-Nov-2023 5:50 PM
  • Journalist: Robert Hume

The Isophthalic Acid prices in the US market continued to decline amidst the low demand and the declining cargo availability, impacting the overall market prices in the US domestic market. This decline comes after a continuous decline in feedstock prices (Mixed Xylene) fueled by a moderate demand from the PET and end-use manufacturing industries. When looking at different asset markets, it appears that sellers of Isophthalic Acid are acknowledging the possibility of a slowdown in the United States. Towards the end of the eleventh month of the year 2023, the price quotations of Isophthalic Acid were observed at USD 1332 per MT, CFR Texas.

In the last quarter of the year, the prospects for refrigerated sea trade have diminished, as cargo demand is anticipated to decrease for the second consecutive year. Additionally, transit limitations on the drought-affected Panama Canal are beginning to affect the capacity of vessels that cater to the export of Isophthalic Acid.

Cargo owners should be ready for additional charges from container shipping lines for the Panama Canal, and they should verify if their preferred shipping line guarantees slots before making commitments and completing the Isophthalic Acid demand. The challenges for these networks lie in cost and profitability, as they demand higher freight volumes to compensate for the additional drivers compared to over-the-road operations. The demand-supply gap of Isophthalic Acid in the US market is expected to remain steady amidst the slow demand.

Despite the decrease in cargo demand, reefer container freight rates continue to exhibit resilience in comparison to the broader container shipping market. The above-mentioned facets impacted the operational rate and the final selling prices of Isophthalic Acid. This pattern has persisted into the fourth quarter of 2023, and further decreases in reefer container freight rates are anticipated for the upcoming year, creating a better opportunity for Isophthalic Acid traders.

The API has disclosed a drop of 0.817 million barrels in inventories of US crude oil. This has subsequently led to a decrease in the production cost of Isophthalic Acid. The White House Council on Supply Chain Resilience unveiled the establishment of the Office of Multimodal Freight Infrastructure and Policy (Multimodal Freight Office). This office will manage and enhance the United States freight network and supply chains. According to ChemAnalyst, the prices of Isophthalic Acid are anticipated to remain stable in the coming weeks of 2023 due to a potential decrease in new orders and a decline in feedstock prices.

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