Rising supplies weigh down on Europe’s propylene market
Propylene supply is projected to get more comfortable heading to the year-end since more capacities are underway for end November amidst delayed restarts at certain crackers.
Source: ChemOrbis Price Wizard
BASF restarted its Ludwigshafen cracker No.1 by the second week of November. The 1 million tons/year complex was shut late October. LyondellBasell brought one of its crackers in Wesseling, Germany (a total capacity of 1 million tons/year) offline due to a turnaround in September, while it was said to be back to production earlier in November.
Versalis was to restart its 350,000 tons/year Dunkirk cracker this month following a maintenance that started in early September. Ineos’ Rafnes cracker in Norway and Slovnaft’s Bratislava cracker in Slovenia (220,000 tons/year) were due to resume operations in November.
Hungarian MOL delayed the restart of its Tiszaujvaros cracker which was shut in August to late November. The 250,000 tons/year cracker was previously slated to restart in October.
Meanwhile, a potential strike could disrupt operations at Shell’s Pernis refinery as well as Moerdijk petrochemical complex, according to market sources. Even in such a case, returning crackers in the region would compensate any possible impact of suspension, some players commented.
Spot propylene prices on FD NWE basis were down €40/ton week over week. Among rising supplies, lower crude oil prices and spot naphtha costs were other factors weighing down on the propylene market. Spot naphtha prices lost $20/ton on CIF NWE basis as ICE Brent crude oil futures were down by around $1.5/bbl since the month started.
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