Refinery grade propylene traded higher Thursday and ethylene spot prices slid in the front month. NGLs energy and benzene all saw gains. Downstream, PE and PP prices were steady to higher depending on the grade.
Refinery grade propylene traded at 23.375 cpp for April pipeline delivery. This is up from a Wednesday deal at 21.125 cpp, also for April pipeline delivery. The day ended with RGP bid at 21 cpp and offered at 24 cpp. No spot deals were confirmed for polymer or chemical grade propylene. April chemical grade propylene was bid at 25 cpp against no offers. Polymer grade propylene was offered at 26.75 cpp for April against no bids. PGP last traded Wednesday at 26.5 cpp for April.
April ethylene traded at 23.5 cpp (Wms system). This is down from the last April deal of 23.75 cpp (Wms system), done Wednesday. The day ended with April offered at 24.25 cpp (Eq and Wms system) against no bids. 2Q was offered at 25.5 cpp (Eq and Wms system) against no bids.
In production news, Formosa’s olefins 2 cracker was shut Wednesday for repairs. The unit is expected to resume operations April 8. Several other crackers remain shut. ExxonMobil’s Beaumont olefins facility is down, and a restart date has not been confirmed by the company. One of Dow’s crackers at St. Charles is also shut and a restart date has not been disclosed. Shell’s GO-1 cracker is expected to restart in mid-to-late April.
Energies and NGLs traded higher. Crude oil ended the day at $52.64/bbl, up $4.25. Natural gas rose 9 cents ending at $3.782/mmBtu. Ethane was up a half-cent at 34.25 cpg. Propane rose 3.25 cents to 65.25 cpg. Butane gained 6.25 cents ending at 87 cpg. Iso was up 4.875 cents at 100.375 cpg. Natural gasoline rallied 7.5 cents closing the day at 108.5 cpg. April benzene rose 5 cents ending at 173-177 cpg. May was 174-178 cpg DDP/FOB.
Spot resin trading was active Thursday. PP continued to be supported by strong export demand and dwindling supplies traders said. Generic prime railcars of HoPP were in the high 30s cpp range and CoPP a few cents higher. Significant volumes of PE are also moving in the spot market as trader and processor inventories remain slim, but prices have not risen to the same extent as PP. HDPE blow mold has been steady in the low 40s cpp range, while HDPE injection and LLDPE film butene were up about half cent, trading in the low-to-mid 40s cpp range.