01 April 2012 19:34 [Source: ICIS news]
SAN ANTONIO, Texas (ICIS)--US propylene contracts for April will likely settle flat despite proposed increases being sought for the month, two end-users predicted on Sunday on the sidelines of the International Petrochemical Conference (IPC).
US propylene producers have nominated increases of 2 cents/lb ($44/tonne, €33/tonne) and 5 cents/lb for April.
The initiatives represent an increase of as much as 6.5%, as US polymer-grade propylene (PGP) contracts for March settled at 77.50 cents/lb, while chemical-grade propylene (CGP) contracts were agreed at 76.00 cents/lb.
The proposed increases for April gained support last week after spot prices rose sharply, reversing a softening seen during most of March that had sources predicting contracts could actually drop this month.
The increase in spot prices last week came amid news of a drop in propylene inventories and higher gasoline prices.
US propylene supply from steam crackers is also constrained and two US crackers were heard to have problems last week, in addition to at least two other units that are down for planned maintenance.
A propylene increase in April would be the third in as many months.
US propylene contracts settled flat in January but rose by around 40% in February and March after increases of 16.50 and 5 cents/lb for each month.
Hosted by the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), the IPC continues through Tuesday. ($1 = €0.75)
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