14 August 2012 12:24 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asian butane prices have been lower than those of propane since early August, as butane demand from the chemical industry is weak while supply is abundant, industry sources said on Tuesday.
On Monday, the prices of butane for delivery in the first half of September were at $930-935/tonne cost and freight (CFR) ?xml:namespace>
“This is the first time in years to see propane prices higher than those of butane in summer”, said a Taiwanese importer who usually buys some butane each month to chemical users.
Butane demand from the chemical industry has been weak because it lost its economics against naphtha in cracking at the present price level, industry sources said.
Butane should be at least $20-30/tonne lower than naphtha to maintain economic sense for crackers, said a Japanese trader.
However, the current level is only $15.5/tonne, according to ICIS data.
“Naphtha has swarmed into the
Another reason for propane prices to exceed those of butane is sufficient butane supply from the
The price difference between propane and butane is not likely to widen, said a market source, citing
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