HOUSTON (ICIS)--US propylene inventories fell 1.3% week on week for the week ended 18 April, according to government data released on Wednesday.
US inventories of non-fuel refinery-sourced propylene fell to 3.114m bbl for the week ended 18 April, down from 3.154m bbl the previous week.
The fall puts inventories at their lowest for the year and lowest since they were at 3.059m bbl for the week ended 6 December 2013.
Inventories fell despite US refinery operating rates climbing to 91.0% for the week ended 18 April from 88.8% the previous week.
Part of this is because demand for refinery-grade propylene (RGP) for use in gasoline alkylation is increasing as more gasoline is produced.
Additionally, several other options for gasoline alkylation continue to have high prices.
Inventory levels were 17% lower year on year from 3.749m bbl for the week ended 19 April 2013.
US front-month April RGP was heard bid at 59.75 cents/lb ($1,317/tonne) and offered at 60.50 cents/lb on Wednesday.
EIA ?xml:namespace> April 18 April 11 April 04 March 28 Propylene inventories (m bbl) 3.114 3.154 3.344 3.322 Refinery operating rates (%) 91.0 88.8 87.5 87.7
Propylene inventories (m bbl)
Refinery operating rates (%)