Europe petchem producers stay with LPG despite naphtha price fall

27 September 2013 13:17  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) remains the feedstock of choice for many European petrochemical producers despite a price fall in the naphtha market this week, naphtha traders said on Friday.

The price spread between naphtha and propane has narrowed to $122/tonne (€90/tonne) for October spot cargoes, from $173/tonne last week.

A narrowing spread usually lends support to the usually more expensive naphtha, but the spread is still too wide to attract buying interest, traders said.

LPG margins were showing a €94/tonne premium over naphtha margins last week, according to ICIS analysis.

"Propane is still cheap. All the crackers are maximising propane and minimising naphtha. It is a slow market [for naphtha]," a naphtha trader said.

A number of European crackers are able to switch between naphtha and LPG.

($1 = €0.74)

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By: Cuckoo James
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