U.S. Markets 13th April 2009
Polymer grade propylene traded in familiar territory Monday. Ethylene price ideas were steady, but no transactions were confirmed. NGLs slid and spot resin prices were steady.
April PGP traded at 26.5 cpp, flat from the last confirmed deal, done on April 8. No bids or offers were confirmed for April PGP at the end of the day. Refinery grade propylene ended the day bid at 21.5 cpp for April, and offered at 23.5 cpp for April and May delivery. No spot RGP deals were confirmed. The last confirmed RGP deal was at 23 cpp, done on April 9.
No spot ethylene deals were confirmed Monday. April was offered at 25.5 cpp (Eq and Wms system) against no bids. 2Q was offered at 25.25 cpp (Eq and Wms system) against no bids. Offers were also seen on an ethane formula basis stretching out through the end of the year. The last confirmed deal was at 25.5 cpp for April, done on April 9.
In production news, ExxonMobil said it expects to flare at its Beaumont olefins units between April 12 and June 20 related to the cracker’s start-up following repairs from Hurricane Ike. The company has not disclosed a specific date that it expects the cracker to be producing on-spec ethylene. In other cracker news, Shell’s GO-1 cracker remains shut, and is expected to restart in mid-to-late April. Dow also has a cracker shut at its St. Charles site, and a restart date has not been disclosed. Downstream, INEOS NOVA’s Bayport styrene facility began shutting down Monday for a planned turnaround. The maintenance is expected to last 39 days.
Energies were mixed and NGLs traded lower. Crude oil slid $2.39 ending at $50.05/bbl. Natural gas fell 2 cents to finish at $3.628/mmBtu. Ethane was 0.625 cents lower at 36.25 cpg. Propane shed 1.625 cents to close at 64.75 cpg. Butane tumbled 2.375 cents to 84.25 cpg. Iso was down a half-cent at 100.5 cpg. Natural gasoline ended the day at 106.5 cpg, down 2.75 cpg. Benzene traded lower. April was 190-193 cpg DDP/FOB. May was 192-194 cpg DDP and 194-196 cpg FOB. June ended at 194-198 cpg DDP and 195-200 cpg FOB.
Spot resin trading was slow Monday and prices were mostly steady. Traders continued to bid for material to export to Asia, but mostly at last week’s price levels. Tighter supply and limited capacity at Houston-area bagging facilities have kept most from bidding prices higher, traders said. Domestically, participants said demand remains poor and few deals are being concluded. Producers are seeking a 5-cent increase in April for PE and a 3-cent increase for PP, but processors said they were doubtful that this would be implemented.