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Growing length in C2, C3 markets looms over Dec contracts

by ChemOrbis Editorial Team -
  • 23/11/2016 (08:59)
According to market sources, abundant supplies of propylene and ethylene in the European market along with the expected slowdown in demand from derivative producers will pave the way for lower monomer contracts in December. Prices for both monomers have been declining mainly on feedstock costs, although they have recently strengthened a bit, and comfortable supplies. Spot propylene prices fell by around €70-75/ton compared to the beginning of the month while spot ethylene prices indicate decreases of around €50/ton. Supply length across the region is expected to be exacerbated further in line with cracker restarts.

As for completed restarts within the region, Italy’s Versalis has reportedly restarted its Dunkirk cracker in France following a delay in the second part of November. Poland’s PKN Orlen had restarted its steam cracker in Plock after a planned maintenance. PKN Orlen also restarted its 544,000 mt/year Litvinov cracker in the Czech Republic at the end of October. BASF resumed production at its two crackers in Ludwigshafen following an explosion on October 17. Hungary’s MOL restarted its Tiszaujvaros steam cracker with 250,000 tons/year of ethylene capacity after around three months of maintenance.

Meanwhile, Ineos’s ethane cracker in Rafnes is expected to come back online at the end of November. The cracker was shut following a fire at the compressor. LyondellBasell’s Wesseling cracker’s return is also expected to put extra downward pressure on the market.

Market players started to pronounce their expectations regarding new monomer contracts based on bearish market fundamentals.

A distributor in Italy reported that he expects a €30-40/ton decrease on December propylene contracts. Another distributor in Germany, meanwhile, expects smaller decreases of around €20-30/ton on the propylene contracts.

A distributor in Switzerland claimed that buyers refrain from purchasing despite their competitive prices as they anticipate lower prices in December.

A seller in Germany reported that they are expecting €30/ton decreases on December ethylene contracts on the back of weak energy markets and an expected slowdown in demand from the downstream markets.
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