Limited impact seen on Europe ethylene from US cracker explosion

14 June 2013 14:49  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--There has been muted reaction and so far no impact on the European ethylene market following the Williams cracker explosion in the US, sources said on Friday.

Sources said that since there had not been an open ethylene arbitrage window in either direction across the Atlantic, any significant impact here in Europe would be unlikely, and if so, limited to a slight shift in sentiment going forward.

The market is also awaiting information regarding the cause of the explosion and duration of the downtime.

“I haven't seen any impact on Europe from the Williams cracker explosion yet, a producer said.

“Personally, I don’t think there will be too much impact,” a trader said.

Sources said that previously-booked US volumes to cover planned maintenance turnarounds had already been accounted for.

Another said; “if anything [it] would make the US somewhat shorter” which could either open the arbitrage to the US or see less exported from the US to the Americas which could have a roundabout impact on spot prices in Europe.

Sources said the explosion could have more of an impact on European derivatives, specifically polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polyethylene (PE), that compete with US-origin product in certain areas.

"There might be an indirect effect maybe on derivatives, we might be better placed when competing against the US," the first trader said.

US producer Williams confirmed late on Thursday that one person had died in an explosion and fire at its ethane cracker in Geismar, Louisiana. The explosion occurred at about 08:37 local time (13:37 GMT) on 13 June. The Geismar facility annually produces about 612,000 tonnes/year of, according to ICIS data.

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By: Nel Weddle
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