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.
Updated to Q1 2019
Supply in the first half of Q1 could be ample in South Korea and Japan although Hyosung’s planned maintenance work at its 350,000 tonnes/year propane dehydrogenation (PDH) unit in South Korea could help shorten the length. Late Q1 could see preparation works to the start of the turnaround season in 2019.
Demand could be stable at the start of the year on cautious trading and start to increase closer to the Lunar New Year on re-stocking activities. Demand could be weak immediately after the long holiday as certain downstream units could take some 15-30 days to restart in China.
European propylene supply is expected to tighten up during the first quarter. Demand levels traditionally improve following the usual year-end slowdown. There could be additional demand as derivative producers catch up with volumes lost as a result of the Rhine issues in view of the constraints on output as a result of the 2019 spring cracker maintenance season. Pricing developments will determine whether European domestic supply reductions are mitigated by import volumes from the US, Middle East and even potentially Asia.
European propylene demand is expected to pick up in the first quarter as is usual following the year-end de-stocking period but players are a little cautious, largely on the back of the general uncertainty surrounding the impacts of the US-China trade war. Preparations to cover a fairly heavy cracker turnaround season could heighten demand as could some catch-up on volumes lost as a result of the Rhine issues. Bottom-line demand is regarded as being relatively healthy, particularly compared with that for ethylene.
US propylene supply is expected to be steady to stronger as refinery production rates remains strong and as new crackers start-up. Refinery rates are expected to remain high due to strong demand for diesel amid new regulations and for US fuel exports. Several new crackers are expected to start up in early 2019 also should expand propylene production. Refineries and crackers are the largest source of propylene production in the US.
US propylene demand is expected to increase in the first quarter as downstream inventories are rebuilt following late 2018 year-end de-stocking. Recent declines in propylene pricing is likely to bolster demand as it encourages further inventory building and increases competitiveness for US propylene derivative exports. Recent declines in upstream costs and increases in propylene production may keep propylene prices low which could keep demand good through the quarter.
We offer the following regional Propylene analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the Propylene marketplace.
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Propylene is a colourless, highly flammable gas. It is produced by several routes, the most common of which is as a co-product of ethylene production from steam crackers.
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.
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