Widening propane-naphtha spread keeps petchems interested

12 July 2013 23:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European petrochemical buyers kept an eye on the propane market late in the week as the naphtha-propane spread widened to around $82-88/tonne, sources said on Friday.

Propane was increasingly expensive compared to rival feedstock naphtha - with just a $50/tonne (€38/tonne) spread seen earlier in the week.

The prompt market is considered short with few offers seen, and many participants currently out of the market on summer holidays.

However sources said there was some product coming out of the Black Sea and possibly a cargo from Algeria, which could account for the wider naphtha-propane spread.

Sources said normally during this time of year buying for storage is occurring, as prices are generally lower - but at present there is little product in storage and no incentive to buy.

Prices in Europe for propane increased by $10-50/tonne across the regions, with large cargoes on a CIF (cost, insurance and freight) NWE (northwest Europe) basis at $801-807/tonne on Friday.

The butane market is also slightly stronger on an outright basis, but percentages have remained stable and the market is considered quiet.

One source described the butane market as “dead” with little movement in percentages in the last few weeks.

Large butane cargoes were at $812-822/tonne CIF NWE on Friday.

($1 = €0.76)

By: Kate Wilcock
+44 208 652 3214

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