Gap between European and Asian propylene at widest in more than two years
In Asia, spot propylene prices have lost ground by around $140/ton on average since the downturn kicked off at the end of February. The decreasing trend in China’s downstream PP market has played a major role in propylene’s losses, according to traders. This is despite the fact there are numerous shutdowns at crackers and propylene units across the region.
Spot prices in Europe, on the other hand, have been maintaining their uptick since late November 2016, with the recent gains finding support from the tightness in the midst of the maintenances planned at crackers and refineries across the region.
On euro terms, the average spot propylene price is currently standing at a 32-month high after posting a cumulative increase of €160/ton only in March, according to ChemOrbis Price Wizard. The gains registered so far in March have also paved the way for expectations of seeing another round of increases in the contract market for April, although some players argue that softer crude oil and naphtha costs may put pressure on the propylene market.
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