US propylene inventories fall despite higher production

08 May 2013 20:24  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)—US propylene inventories fell for the week ended 3 May despite an increase in refinery operating rates, data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed on Wednesday.

The EIA report showed US inventories of non-fuel refinery-sourced propylene at 3.669m bbl for the week ended 3 May, down from 3.853m bbl the week prior.

This is the first week-on-week decline for propylene inventories in four weeks, despite refinery operating rates not reaching their highest until the week ended 3 May during that time span.

US refinery operating rates were reported at 87.0% for the week ended 3 May, up from 84.4% the previous week.

The decline in inventories is mostly tied to cheaper contract prices for US polymer-grade propylene (PGP), which fell by 10 cents/lb ($220/tonne, €168/tonne) in April.

Sources said propylene buyers had retreated to the sideline in the face of high contract price for propylene, but that the April decline brought buyers back into the marketplace.

US May refinery-grade propylene (RPG) was heard bid at 50.5 cents/lb against offers at 52.5 cents/lb on Wednesday.

($1 = €0.76)

By: John Dietrich

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