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Spot ethylene, propylene prices rally in Europe

by ChemOrbis Editorial Team - content@chemorbis.com
  • 17/11/2015 (03:36)
Spot ethylene and propylene prices posted three-digit hikes in Europe at the end of last week. The recent rally in monomer prices was attributed to an unplanned outage at Shell’s cracker as spot naphtha remains weak, with prices dropping below the $400/ton threshold on a CIF NWE basis late last week.

Shell’s Moerdijk cracker in the Netherlands was shut following a fire on November 11. The company declared force majeure on ethylene and propylene from the site consequently. Although the restart date is unclear for now, players do not expect the cracker to resume operations within the next few weeks. The cracker has a capacity to produce 900,000 tons/year of ethylene and 450,000 tons/year of propylene.

Spot ethylene prices have surged by over €160/ton week over week to exceed the €900/ton threshold on an FD NWE basis at the end of last week due to supply concerns stemming from Shell’s outage. These new higher levels were mostly reported for prompt cargoes.

For propylene, spot prices also jumped more than €130/ton at the end of last week, with prices posting their largest hike on November 13. Adding to Shell’s outage, Borealis started to conduct a planned turnaround at its 480,000 tons/year PDH unit in Kallo, Belgium as of the end of last week. The shutdown is expected to last two weeks.

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