US propylene inventories drop to 40-month low

06 April 2011 19:13  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US propylene stocks remained on a sharp downtrend, dropping to their lowest level in more than three years, data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed on Wednesday.

Refinery-sourced propylene stockpiles stood at 1.630m bbl in the week ended 1 April, down by 6.1% from 1.736m bbl a week earlier.

The drop last week, which came despite steady operating rates at US refineries, pushed stocks to their lowest level since the first week of December 2007.

Market sources said US propylene supply was tight because of a heavy refinery turnaround season in the first quarter.

The US had some 18 planned refinery shutdowns between January and March.

In addition, significant maintenance took place at another seven US refineries, which experienced major outages lasting at least one week in the first three months of the year.

EIA figures refer to non-fuel use propylene, which is intended for petrochemical manufacturing, including polymer- (PGP) and chemical-grade (CGP) propylene.

Refinery-grade propylene (RGP) for April was bid on Wednesday at 78.50 cents/lb ($1,731/tonne, €1,212/tonne) with no offers. RGP traded at 75.50 cents/lb last week.

US refineries operated at 84.4% of capacity last week, slightly up from 84.1% in the week ended 25 March, the EIA said.

US weekly non-fuel use propylene inventories – m bbl (EIA)

1 April

25 Mar

18 Mar

11 Mar

4 Mar






($1 = €0.70)

For more on propylene visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: William Lemos
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