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US Gulf Coast mixed xylenes spike amid turnarounds

Houston — US Gulf Coast mixed xylenes remained at a 2 1/2-month high Wednesday morning as thin availability for the aromatic bolstered prices.

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"It really is that tight right now," said one source of the sharp climb in MX over the past few days.

USGC MX was heard bid at 248 cents/gal Wednesday after S&P Global Platts assessed it at 249 cents/gal on Tuesday, up 15 cents day on day.

MX was at its highest level since November 28, 2018.

Ongoing turnarounds have thinned the volume of MX flowing into the market, leaving buyers to raise their bids in search of product. Corpus Christi product traded at 255 cents/gal Tuesday as buyers there had to pay more for supplies.

The premium for MX to reformate, a key indicator for MX production economics, also jumped.

USGC MX was assessed 44.34 cents above its reformate counterpart on Tuesday, the largest premium since early December. Producers say the MX premium needs to be at least 20 cents before the product looks profitable.

USGC reformate barges on Tuesday held a 60-cent premium to gasoline for the first time since October 12, with support from a wider premium-regular spread in the Colonial Pipeline cash trade. USGC reformate barges was assessed at 204.66 cents/gal Tuesday.

Reformate rose 3.5 cents day on day to be assessed at pipeline conventional gasoline plus 60 cents/gal. Just a month ago, the differential to the pipeline was 42.75 cents/gal.

--Josh Pedrick, joshua.pedrick@spglobal.com

--Jeffrey Bair, jeffrey.bair@spglobal.com

--Edited by Keiron Greenhalgh, keiron.greenhalgh@spglobal.com

Petrochemicalscan

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