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Jan paraxylene ACP bids seen aggressive at just $60/mt below offers

Singapore — Paraxylene Asian Contract Price talks for January were notable for the high bid nominations from purified terephthalic acid makers, in the range of $800-$900/mt CFR Asia, participants in the discussions said Thursday.

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The offers from PX producers were in the range of $960-$980/mt CFR, sources involved in the negotiations confirmed earlier, leaving an unusually narrow gap between bids and offers for the month.

Sources at several PTA makers expressed surprise at the aggressive bids from several producers, saying it was probably the first time the initial gap between the highest bid and the lowest offer had been as low as $60/mt.

"Normally, the gap is around $100/mt or more, but given the very sharp bids, it's possible that the settlement price may be higher than the December ACP settlement price," a Chinese end-user said.



ACP discussions typically end on the last working day of the month, but negotiating parties in the ACP said that for January contracts, the settlement date would be December 28 rather than December 29.

"That's the last working day of the year, when many people are off; it just makes sense," said an ACP buyer in China.

Negotiations for the December ACP resulted in a major settlement at $910/mt, Platts reported earlier.

Taiwan's Oriental Petrochemical Taiwan Corp. settled with ExxonMobil, while South Korea's S-Oil settled with China's Yisheng Petrochemical, company sources said.

Prior to December, September was the last contract to result in a major settlement, at $820/mt, $10/mt higher than the August settlement.

There are five PX ACP sellers in Asia: Japanese companies JXTG Nippon Oil and Energy and Idemitsu Kosan, ExxonMobil and South Korean companies S-Oil and SK Global Chemical.

Typically there have been seven ACP buyers: BP, Taiwan's Capco and Oriental Petrochemical (Taiwan) Corp., Japanese companies Mitsui Chemicals and Mitsubishi Chemical, and China's Yisheng Petrochemical and Jiangsu Shenghong Chemical Fiber Co.

--Rohan Menon, rohan.menon@spglobal.com
--Edited by Wendy Wells, wendy.wells@spglobal.com