US propylene inventories rise 2.0% on higher refinery production

26 March 2014 19:25 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US propylene inventories for the week ended 21 March rose 2.0% week on week, according to government data released on Wednesday.

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said inventories of non-fuel refinery-sourced propylene rose to 3.445m bbl for the week ended 21 March, up from 3.376m bbl the previous week.

The increase came as US refinery operating rates rose to 86.0% from 85.6% during that time span.

Additionally, the spread between spot refinery-grade propylene (RGP) and contract polymer-grade propylene (PGP) has narrowed slightly in March to 10-11 cents/lb ($220-243/tonne) from 10-13 cents/lb in February.

This has weakened demand from propylene splitters for RGP and led to higher RGP inventories.

Year on year, propylene inventories are 3.3% higher than 3.346m bbl for the week ended 22 March 2013.

US spot RGP for March was heard bid at 58.00 cents/lb on Wednesday against offers at 62.75 cents/lb.

EIA

March 21

March 14

March 07

February 28

Propylene inventories (m bbl)

3.445

3.376

3.458

3.424

Refinery operating rates (%)

86.0

85.6

86.0

87.4

By John Dietrich