ICIS Ethylene price reports are covered weekly in Asia, Europe and US and also daily in Asia. Reports include analysis and market intelligence on contract and spot prices, margins, production issues, upstream and downstream news and any other influencing factor that is impacting price movements at that given time. In addition to weekly reports there are also margin reports for each region.
The vast array of information available on these markets can be received in a variety of formats and gives the subscriber confidence in making informed business decisions.
Updated to Q2 2019
Supply was long following widespread cuts in downstream monoethylene glycol (MEG) production. Major MEG makers in Asia and the Middle East offloaded a substantial quantity of ethylene after lowering derivative output in response to weak margins and poor Chinese demand. Exports from southeast Asia and Japan were boosted by downstream turnarounds and technical issues, helping to offset a decline in shipments from South Korea where cracker operations were curtailed by turnarounds and production issues.
China’s spot requirements were low in April due to production issues, safety inspection following a fatal industrial accident and weak conditions in certain downstream sectors. Buying interest improved later in the quarter, boosted by restocking activity after a long holiday in early May and better margins for many derivatives as ethylene spot prices tumbled to decade-lows in June. MEG makers with standalone plants in Asia reduced their ethylene offtakes due to poor market conditions.
Planned cracker maintenance got under way from mid-April, albeit a little slower than planned at Shell’s Netherlands cracker because of strike action. Together with unplanned outages, this led to a tightening of ethylene supply and spot prices steadily rose. Europe’s high cost position relative to the US and Asia saw good availability in terms of imports, although logistics issues hampered some trade. By the end of the quarter, turnarounds were ending.
Preparations to cover outages were sufficient for most consumers and spot activity was limited. Core demand for the key polymer sector held steady throughout, although gains in upstream markets did lead to a boost in some areas. Affordability amid rising spot numbers was cited as an issue for incremental purchases. Some derivative sectors fared worse and there were a number of planned outages on derivative units.
US ethylene supplies tightened in Q2 as ExxonMobil and BASF Total underwent planned maintenance that lasted the entire quarter. Three new crackers that were expected on line – Indorama, Lotte/Westlake and Shintech – had yet to begin operations. Indorama and Lotte/Westlake started, but had trouble with on-spec material. Bad weather caused several brief outages at major crackers. Despite the supply constraints, ethylene inventories remained at record highs and were more than ample to meet domestic demand needs.
US ethylene demand was lacklustre in Q2 on the back of a dim economic outlook and trade war tensions with China, which impacted most major ethylene derivatives markets. Demand slowed, notably in June. Q2 was likely the peak of demand for 2019. Supply levels were more than ample to meet poor demand. Conditions pushed spot ethylene prices lower through the quarter as supply outpaced demand and feedstock costs continued to decline.
We offer the following regional Ethylene analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the Ethylene marketplace.
News & analysis
Regional price assessments, published daily or weekly, enabling you to keep track of trading prices, understand price drivers/fluctuations and set a benchmark for contract price settl ements. ICIS offers reports on over 180 commodities across the global petrochemical, energy and fertilizer markets. Information covered in our price reports includes:
Information is accessed online, via the ICIS dashboard service and is configurable to suit your preferences.
Produced by the ICIS Consulting team, these reports give a robust rolling 12-month price forecast, trade balances and in-depth analysis into where markets are heading – providing a valuable tool to support your short- to medium-term plans.
ICIS pricing intelligence is delivered to you online via the ICIS dashboard. Here you can view your reports and also access other useful services including related news, analysis, historical data and market alerts.
ICIS dashboard also makes it easy for you to create pricing charts, download price history and export data to create tailored analytical models.
ICIS weekly margin reports deliver the detail you need to understand how production costs and prices are affecting margins, enabling you to judge the likely impact on your business and optimise your upstream and downstream business decisions.
The Supply and Demand Window on the ICIS Dashboard provides a snapshot view of historical and forecast information for supply and demand, production capacity and trade flows – a key tool to help safeguard future investments within the chemicals market.
24-hour global coverage of breaking news in the petrochemical industry, including updates on production, shutdowns and key transacted deals, keeping you informed of market developments as they happen. The ICIS news service allows you to customise the market alerts delivered to your email inbox, providing the business-critical information you need straightaway.
If you want to keep updated on the factors driving price movements in the global chemical markets, ICIS Chemical Business provides a summary of the information you need to support your business decisions. Every week, our global team of experts digests and summarises the key issues and their potential impact on the market – all in one magazine.
An expert view of supply and demand comprising four fully-reconciled databases, giving you access to extensive data for more than 100 markets. Information is included on global and regional trade flows, production, capacity and sources of demand in the short-, medium- and long-term. Data can be downloaded, customised and queried to support your planning requirements and your strategic decisions.
ICIS provides specialist training courses across the global petrochemicals, base oils and fertilizers industries. Our training team of industry experts can help you increase your knowledge of the industry and gain the insight and know-how needed to operate and trade effectively.
Find out more about ICIS training courses >>
ICIS produces a series of highly informative and timely conferences. Extensive research is carried out to ensure that each programme delivers the information you need and addresses current industry issues. We source speakers who have the appropriate expertise and experience to deliver excellent quality papers.
Find out more about ICIS conferences >>
Working closely with you to understand your strategies, challenges and ambitions, the ICIS consulting team deliver tailored advice and solutions to suit your unique requirements. With many years’ experience of guiding business leadership teams, we show you how market conditions can make a positive or negative impact on your long-term plans.
ICIS expert consultants can provide your organisation with the insight, intelligence and data needed to build and grow your business in China. We can help you to gain a clear view on the short and long-term supply and demand picture in the chemicals, energy, iron and steel, non-ferrous metals and paper and pulp markets in China.
ICIS price assessments are based on information gathered from a wide cross-section of the market, comprising consumers, producers, traders and distributors from more than 250 reporters world-wide. Confirmed deals, verified by both buyer and seller, provide the foundation of our price assessments.
Our in-depth market knowledge drives our specialist focus, as we recognise the importance of individual market dynamics and not a one-size-fits-all approach.
Over 25 years of reporting on key chemicals markets, including Ethylene, has brought global recognition of our methodology as being unbiased, authoritative and rigorous in preserving our editorial integrity. Our global network of reporters in Houston, London, Singapore, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Mumbai, Perth and Moscow ensures unrivalled coverage of established and emerging markets.
Ethylene is the starting point for so many chemicals that have such an impact on our daily lives from polyethylene (PE) used in packaging, pipes through to ethylene glycol (EG) used in polyester and antifreeze.
Europe’s ethylene landscape has been more fluid and dynamic over the past two years than ever before. The advent of low oil prices in Q4 2014 led to record cracker margins, strong demand, and increased operating rates, which in turn was considered a factor in the unprecedented number of production problems in 2015.
Prices usually track crude oil and naphtha market developments very closely but the supply and demand situation can play a large part in determining contract and spot prices because of the challenges inherent in producing, transporting and consuming a gas.
European contract prices hit a bottom of €810/tonne in March 2016 but have been on a steady uptrend for the most part since then, gaining 16% largely on the back of a string of planned – and sometimes unplanned – cracker production issues.
European spot price developments over the past year have been tumultuous, falling about 21% in the first quarter, rising again by almost 30%, and then settling back as supply has eased
Ethylene is a colourless, odourless, extremely flammable compressed gas. It is slightly soluble in water and soluble in liquid hydrocarbons. It reacts with strong oxidants causing fire and is anexplosion hazard..
Ethylene Asia Margin Report Methodology
This document is intended to provide methodology support for customers receiving the ICIS Weekly Margin – Ethylene Asia report.
Ethylene China Margin Report Methodology
This document is intended to provide methodology support for customers receiving the ICIS Weekly Margin – Ethylene China report.
Ethylene Europe Margin Report Methodology
This document is intended to provide methodology support for customers receiving the ICIS Weekly Margin –Ethylene Europe report.
Ethylene US Margin Report Methodology
The main method of ethylene manufacture is by the thermal cracking of hydrocarbons. Both gaseous and liquid hydrocarbon feedstocks are used in the US, so this report examines two typical models.
Ethylene is a colourless, odourless, extremely flammable compressed gas with a faintly pleasant odour. It is slightly soluble in water and soluble in liquid hydrocarbons. It reacts with strong oxidants causing fire and explosion hazard.
Ethylene is mainly used to make polyethylene (PE). Low density polyethylene (LDPE) and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) mainly go into film applications such as food and non-food packaging, shrink and stretch film, and non-packaging uses. High density polyethylene (HDPE) is used primarily in blow moulding and injection moulding applications such as containers, drums, household goods, caps and pallets. HDPE can also be extruded into pipes for water, gas and irrigation, and film for refuse sacks, carrier bags and industrial lining.
Other major uses are ethylene oxide (EO), ethylene glycol (EG), vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) for polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and styrene.
Other derivatives include linear alpha olefins (LAO), detergent alcohols and plasticiser alcohols, vinyl acetate monomer (VAM), and various intermediates such as ethyl acetate and ethyl acrylate.
Ethylene is produced commercially by the steam cracking of a wide range of hydrocarbon feedstocks.
In Europe and Asia, ethylene is obtained mainly from cracking naphtha, gasoil and condensates. The cracking of ethane and propane is primarily carried out in the US, Canada and the Middle East.
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Tropical depression Imelda that has lingered over southeast Texas this week continued to disrupt rail lines and shut down chemical plants, mostly in or near Beaumont. Of 10 plant...Read
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Impacts from tropical depression Imelda continued to shut down US chemical plants in Texas, mostly in or near Beaumont, with some of the shutdowns precautionary and a few from power...Read
MOSCOW (MRC)--Russia's production of basic chemicals increased by 3.4% year on year in the first eight months of 2019, according to official data. Output of chemical products dropped in August 2018...Read
As the flagship event for the oleochemicals community, attracting delegates from more than 250 companies from 42 countries, the ICIS World Oleochemicals Conference provides the ultimate networking platform for the value chain, and a market content sharing opportunity that is not to be missed. Save up to 10% on group bookings with promo code WOC19ON1