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US Sep paraxylene CP settles 4 cents lower at 64.50 cents/lb

The US September paraxylene contract price settled at 64.50 cents/lb ($1,422/mt), sources said Friday, a decline of 4 cents/lb compared with August’s settlement.

Market participants expected a softer settlement because of bearish activity in the spot market as a result of weak downstream demand.

BP shut one of the two purified terephthalic acid units at its Cooper River facility in South Carolina following a fire in early August. Sources have said the unit will likely be restarted in late October or early November, but would not be at full run rates. One source said the unit might not be operating at capacity until February. The Cooper River facility has a total PTA capacity of 2.86 billion lb/year.

US paraxylene prices have also been hurt by weak Asian demand, sources said. Typically, Asia has a net shortage of xylenes and depends on US output to balance the shortage.

The spot price in the US Gulf Coast paraxylene market has averaged $1,202/mt FOB US Gulf so far in September, according to Platts data. US spot paraxylene was last assessed at $1,195/mt FOB USG.

– Platts.com

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