Rising supplies pressure propylene Market
Imported Data of Asian propylene – dropped $5-$15/mt day on the day Friday to hit four-month lows Friday. Asian propylene was under pressure amid ample supplies. In China, propane dehydrogenation plant operations are rising after maintenance season. In March, China’s PDH operations averaged 77%, down from 91% in February, Imported Data reported earlier. Supplies from Thailand and India were also available. Indian Oil Corp., or IOC, issued a tender to sell a 2,400-2,800-mt spot cargo for May 20-22 loading from Paradip. The results of the tender, which was closed late Friday, were not yet available. As a result, the spread between propylene and naphtha feedstock narrowed this week to the narrowest level since February 2016, Imported Data showed. But some Market sources said Asian propylene was supported this week due to positive margins for downstream production, such as polypropylene or acrylonitrile. On Friday, the CFR Far East Asia ACN price rose $10/mt to $1,850/mt, the highest level since November 5, 2018, Imported Data showed. The Asian PP and propylene spread was calculated at $230/mt Friday, higher than a typical breakeven spread of $150/mt, according to Imported Data. But some Market sources shrugged off the current firm downstream, saying that it was driven by limited supplies in the local China Market amid ongoing safety inspections. “I don’t think firm downstream would push up propylene Market as it is rather driven by limited supplies amid safety inspections,” said a Market source.
CFR China propylene prices fell $5/mt (Imported Data) day on day to be assessed at $890/mt Friday with a tradable level heard in a range of $880-$890/ mt. FOB Korea propylene prices fell $15/mt day on day to be assessed at $850/mt Friday after a discussion was heard at that level. In other areas which are assessed on a weekly basis, CFR Taiwan propylene prices inched down (Imported Data) $5/mt from the previous week to be assessed at $895/mt Friday with a discussion heard at $890-$900/mt CFR Taiwan. CFR Southeast Asia prices dropped $10/mt to $805/mt during the same period, while the FOB Japan price fell $15/mt to $850/mt on a week-on-week basis, in line with the bearish Market sentiment.