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Initial US February propylene contracts settle flat

February 08/2011

(ICIS) -- US propylene contracts began to settle at a rollover, market sources said on Monday, indicating a recent drop in spot prices outweighed proposed increases sought by US producers.

According to sources, one US producer agreed to a flat settlement that would keep polymer grade propylene (PGP) at 77.50 cents/lb ($1,709/tonne, ?1,265/tonne).

The producer and a rival supplier had nominated increases of 3.00 cents/lb for PGP in February, but those initiatives lost some momentum after spot prices began to soften.

Spot PGP for February delivery traded at 75.00 cents/lb in the last week of January, down from 75.50 cents/lb two weeks earlier.

Market sources said the same producer settled chemical-grade propylene (CGP) at 74.00 cents/lb, also unchanged from January.

The supplier had initially nominated an increase of 5.00 cents/lb for CGP, which in January settled at 70.00 and 74.00 cents/lb after a drawn-out and unusual split settlement.

The initial flat settlement for US propylene follows a massive increase in January, when PGP contracts rose by 17.00 cents/lb and CGP by 11.00 and 15.00 cents/lb.

The sharp increase in January stemmed from tight supply and higher spot prices, including a 42% surge in refinery grade propylene (RGP) spot prices in December.

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