19 June, 2018
Data from ChemOrbis Price Wizard reveal that spot propylene prices in Europe and the US are trading with significant premiums over ethylene. On the contrary, the spot ethylene market maintains its premium over propylene in Asia.
In Europe, spot propylene prices have been steadily rising since mid-March due to tight availability amidst a series of maintenance shutdowns and production hiccups across the region. According to the weekly average data from ChemOrbis Price Wizard, spot prices on FD NWE basis have posted a cumulative increase of €225-230/ton since the market turned bullish while they currently stand at a four-year high. Spot ethylene, on the other hand, has been mostly softening for the past three weeks amidst long supplies.
As a result of their divergent paths, propylene prices have moved above ethylene in around early May for the first time since March 2015. The premium that propylene carries over spot ethylene prices has recently reached €145/ton, the largest gap since mid-September 2014.
When it comes to the US, spot propylene prices on FD USG basis are currently trading with a premium of $815/ton over spot ethylene prices with the same terms. Last week, the premium of propylene was standing at around $885-890/ton, the highest spread since ChemOrbis began keeping records at the start of 2008.
Meanwhile, it is the opposite situation in Asia, with spot ethylene trading with a premium relative to propylene. According to data, spot ethylene prices on CFR Far East Asia basis have been consistently carrying a premium over propylene prices on FOB Korea basis since December 2013. The spread between the two products is currently standing at around $305/ton, up by $125/ton when compared to mid-May.