Spot ethylene prices track opposite paths in Europe and Asia
In Europe, spot ethylene prices on an FD NWE basis declined by around €40/ton after holding steady in the previous week. Lower spot prices were attributed to improved availability for ethylene while spot naphtha prices are not suggesting notable changes on a weekly basis.
Regarding the awaited October ethylene contracts, players across the European polymer markets do not expect to see major changes considering that spot naphtha prices are almost stable from early September levels. Expectations are calling for rollovers to modest decreases from €20/ton to €40/ton for now.
In Asia, spot ethylene prices posted weekly increases of $25/ton both on a CFR Northeast Asia and CFR Southeast Asia basis. Meanwhile, prices on an FOB South Korea basis climbed by $45/ton. Higher spot ethylene prices were attributed to revived demand from end users amidst expectations of tight supply in October given the upcoming cracker shutdowns.
Lotte Chemical is planning to shut their Daesan cracker in South Korea for turnaround on October 12. The 1.05 million tons/year cracker is expected to remain offline until November 6. CNOOC and Shell Petrochemicals (CSPC) is also planning to conduct a planned turnaround at their naphtha-fed steam cracker in Huizhou, China in the first half of October, according to market sources. The cracker, which has an ethylene capacity of 950,000 tons/year, was scheduled to remain shut for 50 days.
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