Published On: Thu, Apr 2nd, 2009

U.S. Markets 31-Mar-2009

Ethylene and propylene was quiet Tuesday and no trades were confirmed. NGLs were mixed and spot resin prices are stable to higher.

Ethylene for March was bid at 23.5 cpp (Wms system) against no offers. April was bid at 23.5 and offered at 24.5 cpp (Wms system). 2Q was bid at 22.75 cpp and offered at 25.5 cpp (Wms system). A second-half 2009 strip was bid at 21.5 cpp and offered at 25 cpp. The last confirmed fixed-price ethylene deal was at 24.5 cpp for March and 24.125 cpp for April, both done on March 25.

No spot propylene markets were confirmed Tuesday. The last confirmed RGP deal was at 19.75 cpp for April, done on March 27.

In production news, Markwest’s Javelina offgas facility in south Texas was scheduled to resume operations Tuesday. Shell’s GO-1 cracker is expected to restart in mid-to-late April. ExxonMobil’s Beaumont olefins unit remains shut and a restart date has not been disclosed. Dow confirmed that one of its St. Charles crackers remains shut; a restart date has not been disclosed.

Energies rose and NGLs were mixed. Crude oil was up $1.25 ending at $49.66/bbl. Natural gas was 4 cents higher at $3.776/mmBtu. Ethane was up 1.5 cents at 33.25 cpg. Propane gained a half cent ending at 64.5 cpg. Butane rose a quarter cent ending at 83 cpg. Iso slid a half cent to 99 cpg. Natural gasoline was up 0.625 cents at 102.375 cpg.

Small lots continued to trade in the spot resin market Tuesday. Lean inventories across the chain have kept processors coming to the spot market to supplement. Traders said that supply has tightened over the past week as exports have picked up. Large volumes of PP have been moved to China, and PE film grades have been moving to Latin America, traders said.