US propylene inventories rise 1.1% as demand remains soft

05 February 2014 21:52  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US propylene inventories rose 1.1% week on week, according to government data released on Wednesday as demand remains weak.

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said inventories of non-fuel refinery-sourced propylene rose to 3.757m bbl for the week ended 31 January, up from 3.715m bbl the previous week.

Inventories have increased in nine of the past 10 weeks, tracking soft demand from the gasoline market and fluctuating demand from the plastics market.

Demand from gasoline has been limited by winter weather suppressing driving activity, which isn’t expected to change until the spring.

Demand for refinery-grade propylene (RGP) has been up and down for use in production of polymer-grade propylene (PGP) as prices climbed in December and early January before dropping in late January.

US refinery operating rates have also been up and down, and fell to 86.1% during the week ended 31 January from 88.2% the previous week.

Year on year, US propylene inventories are 28% higher from 2.936m bbl for the week ended 1 February 2013.

US February RGP spot prices were heard bid at 58 cents/lb ($1,279/tonne) on Wednesday against no fresh offers.

EIA

January 31

January 24

January 17

January 10

Propylene inventories (m bbl)

3.757

3.715

3.626

3.512

Refinery operating rates (%)

86.1

88.2

86.5

90.0


By: John Dietrich
713-525-2600



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