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PCK cut propylene capacity at its refinery fluid catalytic cracker

March 09/2011

(ICIS) -- PCK has cut propylene capacity at its refinery fluid catalytic cracker (FCC) in Schwedt, Germany, as a consequence of reducing gasoline production in order to manage burgeoning stocks, market sources said on Tuesday. 

The introduction of 10% bioethanol-blended gasoline (E10) in Germany has proved unpopular with motorists and demand has been very low, forcing refineries to adjust output accordingly. Production rates were cut last week at the Schwedt FCC, which produces propylene as a by-product of gasoline production.

Propylene supply in Europe is being described as tricky having been affected by planned and unplanned production issues since the start of the year, and the shutdown of the Libyan cracker at Ras Lanuf during a period of relatively healthy demand.

Shortness of supply had contributed to contract prices reaching their third consecutive record high in March - ?1.185/tonne ($1.646/tonne) FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe). Spot prices were also at record high levels. Two US cargoes were recently reported sold into Europe at ?1.240-1.250/tonne CIF (cost, insurance and freight) NWE.

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