Europe April C2 fully confirmed at €1,205/t, C3 at €1,210/t

29 March 2011 12:02  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--The European ethylene (C2) and propylene (C3) contract prices for April have been fully confirmed at €1,205/tonne ($1,697/tonne) and €1,210/tonne, respectively, market sources said on Tuesday.

The month-on-month increases of €10/tonne for ethylene and €25/tonne for propylene were in line with market expectations and based on strong demand and firm upstream values.

A major propylene producer said that compared with the March settlement, the April settlement “was easy”.

The initial April settlements were agreed on 28 March.

The ethylene contract price was first agreed between a major olefins producer and one of its customers, which is a key non-integrated ethylene consumer. To date, two producers and two consumers have confirmed the settlement.

The major olefins producer was also the first to settle the propylene contract, which has risen above the ethylene price for the fifth time since April 2010. The producer first settled with a major net consumer and then with a major non-integrated consumer.

To date, three producers and three consumers have agreed the April propylene price, but confirmation from one of the consumers is still pending.

Sources said that there are still a lot of uncertainties going forward, particularly in view of the ongoing unrest in the Middle East and the impact of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

“It's better to move in a cautious and moderate way,” the major propylene producer said.

Some sources said that derivative concerns over the ever-increasing prices are growing.

Ethylene contract prices have increased by €200/tonne, or about 20%, since December 2010. Meanwhile, propylene has increased by €250/tonne, or 26%, since December, which reflected its tighter supply-demand balance.

Some market sources said they expect no relief in the supply side until June at the earliest, as that is when the majority of planned turnarounds at crackers and refinery fluid catalytic crackers (FCCs) would be completed.

However, whether this would allow for a reduction in contract values would depend on upstream developments as well as demand levels, sources added.

($1 = €0.71)

For more on ethylene and propylene, visit ICIS chemical intelligence
Click here to find out more on the European margin reports
Click here for the latest news on the Japan disaster 

By: Nel Weddle
+44 20 8652 3214

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