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Europe will face several planned cracker shutdowns in H1 2017

  • 15/12/2016 (04:13)
In Europe, many steam crackers are expected to be offline in the March-May period of 2017 for turnarounds. Currently, spot ethylene prices in the region have been on a softening trend since late October, according to weekly average levels on ChemOrbis Price Wizard due to the lengthening supply levels in line with the restart of many crackers recently.

However, if the recent gains in crude oil markets after OPEC and non-OPEC countries’ deal to lower production as well as the firming trend in naphtha costs will be sustained, the upcoming production outages are likely to pave the way for increases in the European ethylene market through the end of the first quarter of next year. Some European players already feel that the increasing upstream costs will eventually be reflected to ethylene prices despite comfortable supply levels.

Looking at the upcoming production outages in the region, Total is planning to shut its cracker in Antwerp, Belgium in the March-May period of 2017 for a planned maintenance. Similarly, SABIC is expected to halt the production at its Geleen cracker in Netherlands for maintenance. The 600,000 tons/year cracker is expected to remain offline between March and April.

In addition, Dow Chemical will bring offline its Terneuzen cracker in the Netherlands for a scheduled maintenance, which is expected to be shut during the same period.

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