Americas feedstocks and polymers weekly summary

Source: ICIS News

2018/12/07

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Here is a summary of major markets in Americas for the week ended 7 December.

UPSTREAM

Crude: Futures surged after OPEC+ Russia and other allies agreed to curb output by 1.2m bbl/day. A weak dollar also provided support, but a stock market sell-off capped the rally.

Ethane: Spot prices were assessed higher, lifted by healthy demand and the firming energy complex. The closing spot price was higher week on week, but spot did weaken early in the week before rebounding by Friday.

Propane: Propane and heavier natural gas liquids (NGL) were assessed higher, tracking stronger crude oil and gasoline futures. Propane received a boost from cold weather, while butane demand firmed as buyers bid up the market and widened out the propane/butane spread.

OLEFINS

Ethylene: November contracts settled at a 2 cent/lb decline from the prior month for the majority of the market on lower feedstock costs, while US ethylene spot prices ticked higher amid the commissioning of a new downstream unit.

Propylene: Spot prices continued to fall as inventories rose to their highest levels since 2016, which is keeping downward pressure on upcoming December contract price talks.

Butadiene: Spot prices fell on the high end amid continued downward pressure from improved feedstock availability, weakening upstream markets and a seasonal demand lull.

AROMATICS

Benzene: Spot prices plunged to a 34-month low as supply remains long and downstream demand continues to be sluggish.

Styrene: November contract prices decreased from the previous month, while spot prices rebounded slightly on Friday after moving sideways the rest of the week. Buying interest was muted amid weak pre-holiday buying interest.

POLYMERS

Polyethylene (PE): The markets are facing downward pressure on sufficient supply and slower demand as the year ends.

Polypropylene (PP): Prices are expected to post further losses in December owing to lower monomer costs. Supply is improving while consumption is slowing near the year-end.

Polystyrene (PS): Prices are in the process of falling sharply in December amid steep drops on upstream benzene and crude oil futures, and lower demand.

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC): The market was flat amid ethylene costs, oil prices and stock markets that headed lower. The market is discussing separate increase initiatives of 2 cent/lb for December.