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US and Asian ethylene markets move in opposite directions

by ChemOrbis Editorial Team -
  • 14/03/2018 (04:11)
Spot ethylene prices in Asia and the US have been following divergent paths for the past two weeks, according to the data from ChemOrbis Price Wizard. The Asian market rebounded in early March after steadily retreating for seven weeks whereas spot prices in the US have added to their losses within the same period.

Meanwhile, in line with the opposite directions of ethylene in the two regions, the premium of Asia’s spot market over the US has reached around $855-860/ton, the largest gap since ChemOrbis began keeping records in 2008.

The weekly average data from ChemOrbis Price Wizard suggest that spot ethylene prices on CFR Far East Asia basis have cumulatively climbed by around $80/ton for the past two weeks, cancelling almost half of their total losses recorded in the period between mid-January and late February.

Notable gains have emerged in spot prices on the back of strengthening demand for April cargoes amidst the heavy maintenance season across the region, particularly in Japan. Several Japanese producers including Tosoh and Showa Denko, Mitsubishi Chemical and Keiyo Ethylene are slated to conduct turnarounds at their crackers in the first half of 2018.

In the US, on the other hand, spot ethylene prices on FD USG basis have witnessed a total decrease of $165/ton since late January, on average. According to ChemOrbis Price Wizard, these losses have pushed spot ethylene prices to their lowest levels since July 2017.

Lower prices in the US were attributed to slow buying activities although major producers LyondellBasell and Dow Chemical shut their crackers in Texas for maintenance in early March.

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