19 April 2012 18:00 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Here is Thursday’s midday Americas oil and chemical market summary from ICIS.
CRUDE: May WTI: $102.83/bbl, up 16 cents; Jun Brent: $118.35/bbl, up 38 cents
NYMEX WTI crude futures rose slightly but traded within a narrow range in search of near-term direction. A report showing jobless claims falling had limited impact on the stock market. The euro and the dollar were little changed and failed to encourage market participation.
RBOB: May: $3.1800, down 2.27 cents/gal
Reformulated gasoline blendstock for oxygen blending (RBOB) prices continued to decline after EIA data from Wednesday showed gasoline demand was nearly 6% lower last week compared with the same time period in 2011. Gasoline futures have settled lower for the past four trading sessions on the NYMEX.
NATURAL GAS: May: $1.912/MMBtu, down 3.9 cents
Natural gas futures on the NYMEX were falling by midday trading, following the release of the weekly US storage report that showed a 25bn cubic feet (bcf) surplus in stockpiles. With demand remaining weak and unable to absorb the additional capacity, futures trading on the NYMEX continues to sink.
ETHANE: higher at 50.25-51.50 cents/gal
Mont Belvieu ethane prices climbed as an ethane cracker at ExxonMobil Baytown in Texas restarted last week following a turnaround, increasing demand for ethane slightly. Another cracker shut down for a turnaround, but it ran on naphtha and not ethane.
AROMATICS: April benzene up at $4.20-4.27/gal
Prompt benzene spot levels moved up early in the day on renewed interest. The range was up from $4.08-4.15/gal FOB (free on board) the previous session.
OLEFINS: ethylene wider at 65-67 cents/lb, RGP stable at 69 cents/lb
US ethylene bids were stable with the low end of previously done deals, while offers moved slightly higher. Supply remains tight and feedstock ethane prices cheap. Spot prices for refinery-grade propylene (RGP) were stable but demand is soft.
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