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Are hikes around the corner for Sept ethylene, propylene contracts in Europe?

  • 22/08/2017 (10:59)
In Europe, players in the polyolefin markets are expressing their expectations regarding the outcome of the September monomer contracts. Expectations are mainly calling for small increases in line with the spot increases both for propylene and ethylene stemming from scarce availability. Availability concerns exacerbated in the region following Shell’s force majeure on propylene and ethylene supplies from its Moerdijk cracker, triggered by disrupted naphtha supplies from its Pernis site after a fire broke out on July 29.

Approaching cracker shutdowns alredy contributed to the monomer gains. You can always track the most updated status of existing plants and new capacity additions for polymers and monomers across the globe at a quick glance by visiting ChemOrbis Production News (For members only) .

According to ChemOrbis Price Wizard, spot ethylene prices in Europe posted cumulative gains of around €115/ton since mid-July while spot propylene prices were €120/ton higher since the first half of July on a weekly average.

As can be seen in the below graph, spot ethylene prices currently stand at a 14 week high while propylene prices hit a 16 week high, respectively, on a weekly average basis.



Increase expectations for the monomer contracts reinforced bullish expectations among downstream PP and PE players, who were already anticipating a strong start to September based on supply issues and upstream gains.

A distributor from Northwest Europe said, “We expect small increases of around €20-30/ton on September ethylene contracts.”

August ethylene and propylene contracts were settled with rollovers from July, meanwhile.
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