ICIS provides reliable and trustworthy weekly price assessments for propylene in Asia, China, Europe and the US. Daily market intelligence is also available for coverage of the Asian markets. Depending on the region, quotations are for spot and contract. Our locally-based expert reporters can provide those involved with propylene or related markets with up-to-date and unbiased intelligence allowing this essential tool to be used in decision-making processes.
Market commentary gives news and analysis on day to day activity, production updates, upstream and downstream movements, import and export activity and any other key factors influencing prices.
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Propylene news and market information products from ICIS
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Upstream of Propylene
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Propylene: Market overview
Updated to Q4 2018
Supply for import cargoes could see some tightening in October due to turnaround work in South Korea and Japan. For example, LG Chem in Yeosu will shut its cracker from end Oct to late November. Supply will lengthen towards the end of the year with the completion of those turnaround plans.
With polypropylene (PP) demand and prices expected to peak around the October period, demand in Q4 could improve due to seasonal demand. Other downstream are also expected to show some demand. On a whole, China’s import figures for propylene have picked up in Q4 for the last two years.
Planned cracker maintenance is under way, with restarts not expected until mid-quarter. Unplanned production issues at two refineries also impacting on propylene output and together with a couple of unplanned issues at a couple more sites, supply will be constrained at least through until November. Availability thereafter should be more balanced rather than tight depending on demand levels.
Propylene demand is largely expected to remain fairly robust throughout the fourth quarter. The extent to which the traditional year-end seasonal reduction in demand due to working capital considerations will occur is unclear as many derivatives may be rather more focused on the upcoming heavy spring cracker turnaround season.
US propylene supply in the fourth quarter is expected to remain snug as production from crackers should remain limited by tight cracker margins and light feedstocks. Propylene production will be further limited amid autumn turnarounds for refineries and could be limited by unexpected production issues for propane dehydrogenation (PDH) units.
US propylene demand in the fourth quarter is expected to remain good to strong amid tight downstream markets. Downstream operating rates have remained strong despite higher propylene prices and despite increases in some derivative imports. Demand may slow somewhat for the winter, but that may not begin until late in the quarter.
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Propylene news & analysis
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Propylene is a colourless, flammable gas that burns with yellow, sooty flames. It is a dangerous fire risk because it is highly flammable and explosive when mixed with air or oxygen.
The dominant outlet for propylene is polypropylene (PP). Propylene is also used to produce acrylonitrile (ACN), propylene oxide (PO), a number of alcohols, cumene and acrylic acid.
The two main sources of propylene are as a byproduct from the steam cracking of liquid feedstocks such as naphtha as well as LPGs, and from off-gases produced in fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) units in refineries. The remainder of propylene is produced using on-purpose technologies such as propane dehydrogenation (PDH) and metathesis.
Propylene is highly flammable and needs to be stored in pressurised or refrigerated tanks.
Upstream of Propylene
Downstream of Propylene