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Spot ethylene and propylene prices have fallen significantly over the past two months

July 01/2011

(ICIS) -- Spot ethylene and propylene prices have fallen significantly over the past two months on poor demand from key derivatives polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) that has been weighing on supply, and there is further downside potential, market sources said on Friday.


Ethylene spot pipeline prices have dropped by around 33% since early May, when prices peaked at around EUR 1.230/tonne (USD 1.783/tonne). Prices this week are recorded below EUR 850/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe).


Polymer grade propylene prices on the inland market have fallen by almost 18%. Prices peaked at EUR 1.265/tonne FD NWE at the end of April, but are now in the mid-to-high EUR 1.000s/tonne FD NWE.


Lengthening supplies due to a general reluctance to cut cracker operating rates too significantly because of healthy margins has meant that local suppliers have been forced to cut spot offers. Sellers said that they have been discounting heavily from contract prices, which recently settled at reductions of EUR 95/tonne and EUR 75/tonne for ethylene and propylene respectively.

 

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