Published On: Mon, Apr 6th, 2009

U.S. Markets 6 April ’09

Ethylene traded higher and refinery grade propylene transacted in familiar territory Monday. NGLs, benzene and energies were mostly lower. Spot resin prices were steady and trading was quiet compared with last week’s levels.


Spot ethylene traded at 24.25 cpp (FOB Mont Belvieu) and 23.875 cpp (Wms system), both for April delivery. 2Q ethylene traded at 24.25 cpp (Wms system). The last April ethylene trade was at 23.5 cpp (Wms system), done on April 2. The day ended with April bid at 23.5 cpp (Eq system) and 23.75 cpp (Wms system) and offered at 25 cpp (Eq and Wms system). May was bid at 22 cpp (Wms system) against no offers. 2Q was bid at 23 cpp (Eq system) and 23.25 cpp (Wms system) against no offers. In the contract market, initial agreements were reported last week to decrease the March net transaction price by 1 cpp, but this has not been reported as market-wide. The Feb NTP was 32 cpp.


Refinery grade propylene traded at 22.75 cpp for dated April pipeline delivery. There was also an RGP deal at 21.5 cpp for April. RGP last traded Friday at 22 cpp and 22.625 cpp, both for confirmed pipeline delivery in April. The day ended with April bid at 21.125 cpp and May bid at 21 cpp, both against no offers. Polymer grade propylene was offered at 26.75 cpp for April against no bids. In the contract market, several participants have reported agreeing to keep April PGP and CGP contracts flat from March, but a market-wide settlement has not been reported. March PGP settled at 29 cpp for PGP and 27.5 cpp for CGP.


In production news, Formosa’s olefins 2 cracker remained shut, and is expected to restart around April 8. Shell’s GO-1 cracker at Norco is expected to restart in mid-to-late April. A cracker at Dow’s St. Charles site remains shut, and a restart date has not been confirmed. A restart date also has not been disclosed for ExxonMobilā?Ts Beaumont olefins facility. The cracker has been shut since Hurricane Ike in September 2008.


Energies and NGLs were mostly lower. Crude oil slid 46 cents ending at $51.05/bbl. Natural gas traded 7 cents lower at $3.732/mmBtu. Ethane was up 0.875 cents at 35.625 cpg. Propane was down 0.75 cents at 64.5 cpg. Butane slid 2 cents to 83.5 cpg. Iso shed 3.375 cents ending at 98.5 cpg. Natural gasoline ended the day at 107 cpg, down 2 cents. Benzene was higher. April was 188-195 cpg DDP and 190-195 cpg FOB. May was 190-197 cpg DDP.


Spot resin trading slowed Monday. Traders said that spot demand continues to be strong, but supplies have tightened and bids have not been raised to meet current offer levels. Much of recent spot activity has been from the export market, particularly from Chinese traders. US domestic processors have also been bidding for material, as they have maintained lean inventories. Generic prime railcars of HDPE blow mold and HDPE injection were in the low 40s cpp range, while LLDPE film butene was in the low-to-mid 40s cpp. HoPP was in the high 30s cpp and CoPP was in the high 30s cpp to low 40s cpp range.

Figures in USD

Source: petrochemwire