Engineering News

CMAI Completes Its 2006 World Toluene and Mixed Xylenes Analysis
Wednesday June 28, 9:24 am ET

HOUSTON, June 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Chemical Market Associates, Inc. (CMAI) recently completed the 2006 World Toluene and Mixed Xylenes Analysis, an annual global study covering the period 2000 to 2010 for the toluene and mixed xylenes markets. Key topics covered in this analysis include history and forecasts of capacity, supply, demand, trade, prices, profitability, technology and production costs.

Toluene Overview:

According to CMAI consultants, the phase-out of MTBE in the U.S. has changed the dynamics of the global toluene market. It has historically been considered a low value product, with price determined on production cost. Now, the toluene market fundamentals have transitioned to an octane value relationship. Margins started declining from the fourth quarter of 2004, mainly the result of surging crude prices and escalating alternative blending values primarily in the U.S., further influenced by the 2005 hurricane season.

In terms of demand, Northeast Asia and North America are the two largest consuming regions, with West Europe rounding out the top three. The bulk of toluene is consumed in incremental mixed xylenes production. Approximately 33 percent of the world total is consumed in toluene transalkylation and toluene disproportionation (STDP) for mixed xylenes and benzene production. This demand will grow at a fast pace over the next three years as many new aromatic complexes are being installed in Asia and the Middle East. The aromatics industry is undergoing a major expansion, and as new capacity comes on-stream, supply capability will gradually outpace demand.

Mixed Xylenes Overview:

Asia accounts for nearly 80 percent of all the capacity growth for mixed xylenes and for 70 to 80 percent of global demand growth from 2005 to 2010 due to the large scale polyester production evident in this region.

Despite heavy investment, demand growth in Asia for mixed xylenes outpaces the region's ability to supply its own needs. At the same time, the Western world questions whether these investments will provide a reasonable economic return. The 2005 hurricane season has highlighted the tightness in refining capacity in the U.S. and the challenges paraxylene consumers have in attracting molecules away from U.S. gasoline markets.

CMAI's 2006 World Toluene and Mixed Xylenes Analysis is available in book and CD-ROM format and also includes technology analysis, trade, price forecasts as well as other pertinent issues in relation to the toluene and mixed xylenes industries.

CMAI is a petrochemical consulting firm that services a wide range of companies all over the world. Since 1979, CMAI's goal has been to provide accurate, timely consulting services for the worldwide petrochemical, plastics, fiber and chlor-alkali industries. CMAI maintains offices in Houston, New York, London, Dubai, Dusseldorf, Singapore and Shanghai. Clients to CMAI services include chemical and oil companies, engineering & construction companies, banking and financial institutions, plastic converters, government agencies and trading companies.

Source: Chemical Market Associates, Inc.

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