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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Argentina’s Dow considers ethylene sale amid fluctuating energy complex

Dow Argentina may load a spot ethylene cargo of an undisclosed volume, a source with a knowledge of company operations said Thursday, adding a destination was also undetermined.

“We have a surplus at the moment due to running at a good rate,” the source said.

Dow applies most of its monomer to downstream derivatives, per market feedback. However, the surplus comes as Argentina exits the winter months and government-imposed natural gas curtailments are over, and the units have been running at full rates, the source said.

Dow Argentina operates two ethane-fed steam crackers at its Bahia Blanca petrochemical complex, which has an ethylene production capacity estimated at 765,000 mt/year, according to Platts Analytics data.

Dow had been following restrictions imposed by the authorities that manage the country’s energy. Petrochemical producers in Argentina typically see feedstock supply curtailments during the winter months, when heating and other residential use tends to be at its highest.

Despite the company’s length, global ethylene economics may hamper any potential trade, so the company may not load a cargo at all, the source said.

Platts assessed the spot ethylene markets on Thursday $15/mt higher at $825/mt CFR Northeast Asia and up $10/mt at $1,001/mt CIF Northwest Europe.

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