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US refinery-grade propylene marks second week above polymer grade: data

The weekly average for US spot refinery-grade propylene stood 0.90 cent/lb over the assessment for polymer-grade propylene on Friday, marking the second week RGP has been above the downstream product, which typically holds a 10 cents/lb premium, Platts data showed.

PGP has been 8.57 cents/lb above RGP on average for the year and has been above the RGP weekly average since February 15, 2013.

The RGP weekly average for the week ended October 10 was 74.65 cents/lb delivered, and PGP was assessed Friday at 73.50-74 cents/lb delivered.

Refiners can use RGP to produce gasoline blendstock alkylate or can sell it to splitter operators for further refining into PGP or chemical-grade propylene. PGP can also be produced through steam cracking, metathesis or propane dehydrogenation.

RGP has risen from a weekly average of 53.6 cents/lb on June 13 to last week’s average of 74.65 cents/lb, an increase of 21.05 cents/lb in 17 weeks.

Market sources have attributed the rise in RGP to outages of fluid catalytic crackers.

The RGP assessment showed signs of declining, last assessed Friday at 73.25-73.75 cents/lb delivered, after reaching a 41-month high of 75-75.50 cents/lb delivered on October 1 and holding there for a week.

The rise of RGP above PGP follows RGP’s recent surpassing of alkylation values. In late September, RGP rose above alkylation values for the first time since January 2013. That development came as a result of rising spot RGP prices and falling gasoline prices.

– Platts.com

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