Europe LPG prices soften but market remains tight

05 April 2013 23:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Prices for propane and butane eased this week, tracking falls in Brent crude oil values, sources said on Friday.

The prompt propane market remains tight as a result of ongoing cold weather across Europe and demand from the petrochemical sector, as propane remains priced well below rival feedstock naphtha.

Prices for large propane cargoes were at $745-755/tonne CIF (cost, insurance, freight) NWE (northwest Europe), maintaining a spread of around $110/tonne (€85/tonne) below naphtha.

A buyer said a number of propane cargoes were fixed for loading in April, which should help relax the market.

The tight conditions have trickled into the barge and railcar markets creating a standoff between buyers and sellers. Smaller parcels bucked the downward price trend and were priced around $80-120/tonne above cargoes.

Sources said few trades were conducted on the smaller parcels as sellers tried to maintain margins and buyers held off in anticipation of lower prices later in the month.

The butane market saw price decreases of up to $45/tonne this week, however the market is largely balanced.

Sources said most large cargoes have already been placed and the main buyers are covered at present, therefore the lower supply levels are not having an impact on the market.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Kate Wilcock
+44 208 652 3214

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