Spot propylene in Asia reverses 6-week slide, US and Europe fail to follow
Asian propylene up from 15-month lows
In Asia, improved market sentiment and the recent gains in the regional downstream markets put a floor under the spot propylene market. Spot propylene prices on FOB Korea basis reversed the downward course by the beginning of last week with a jump of almost 5% and provided a respite from 15-month lows seen last month.
However, some market participants in Asia questioned the sustainability of the latest rebound and continued to hold off from purchasing.
European propylene hovers at 2018-lows
In Europe, spot propylene prices extended the losing streak despite a relief from an improvement in Rhine water levels. European markets remained under pressure from ample supplies and limited buying sentiment for December.
According to ChemOrbis Price Wizard, the weekly average of spot propylene prices on FD NWE basis has decreased more than 23% since the beginning of the downtrend in late September. Currently, the market hovers at around its lowest levels seen since the beginning of the year.
Propylene lost 36% since August in US
In the US, spot propylene prices also failed to shake off the bearish trend that has been at play since late July and continued to decrease amid higher propylene inventories. The cumulative loss has reached 36% on a weekly average basis for more than 4 months with ChemOrbis Price Wizard currently suggesting the lowest levels of around 16 months.
Data from the EIA showed that domestic stockpiles in the US were at their highest point in almost two years in the week ended November 30. As well as a build-up in inventory, prices were also dragged down by the seasonal slowdown in demand amid year-end and the healthy production levels at the US PDH units.
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