09 February 2012 21:40 [Source: ICIS news]
The 30% increase, which was driven by a surge in spot prices in January, puts polymer-grade propylene (PGP) contracts in February at 72.50 cents/lb and chemical-grade propylene (CGP) at 71.00 cents/lb.
US producers had originally nominated increases of 17 and 22 cents/lb for February, but suppliers agreed to the smaller increase to avoid a major impact on demand, one source said.
The increase in February is the first since May 2011, when US PGP contracts hit 97 cents/lb, the highest price on the ICIS data series dating back to January 1986.
The US contract shed 42% as demand weakened in the months that followed, bottoming out at 56 cents/lb in December.
US propylene contracts usually settle at the beginning of the month being negotiated.
Major US producers of PGP and CGP include Chevron Phillips Chemical, Enterprise Products, ExxonMobil, LyondellBasell, Petrologistics and Shell Chemical.
The main buyers include Dow Chemical, INEOS, Ascend Performance Materials and Total.
($1 = €0.75)
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