Europe: The week ahead in petrochemicals, w/c Oct 30

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An initial ethylene contract price for November at a rollover of Eur1,025/ (around $1,193/) is expected to be fully settled. Propylene for November is expected to be settled this week.

OLEFINS

The European CP for November meanwhile plummeted Eur100/mt. Four export cargoes have been fixed to the from Europe.
Increased demand for exports to the US, has occurred with European players looking at options beyond , following the recent collapse in Asian prices.
OMV’s Schwechat, Austria, unplanned outage is not expected to have a bullish effect on olefin prices in a well-supplied market.

POLYMERS

Polystyrene spot activity is expected to pick up in November as buyers anticipated a price fall. Converter stock levels are expected to be low as buyers only made minimum purchases in October.
Similarly, PE , PVC and converters are also expecting prices to fall amid healthy availability.
Linear low density polyethylene produced at ExxonMobil’s Mont Belvieu, Texas, site has been heard heading into the European market — the first shipment from its new start-up plant — and is expected to weigh on LLDPE prices in Europe in Q4.

AROMATICS

The benzene November CP is due to be settled Tuesday and the industry is expecting an increase amid bullish spot prices driven by the US.
Styrene’s November CP will be settled Thursday and a double-digit decrease is expected.
The xylenes market is seen well supplied with orthoxylene almost glutted in the market. Exports of OX have been limited including to the US even as an arbitrage between the two destinations is seen open.
prices in Europe are seen tracking Asia while MX is tracking gasoline.

METHANOL AND ETHERS

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European methanol markets are now looking far more bullish than at any point over the last few weeks.
Rising Asian prices and a tender in the European market from a major producer helped move prices consistently higher.
Fundamentally, markets remain well supplied as Rhine water levels hover at low levels.
European MTBE demand continues to be weak despite the opening of the arbitrage to the US Gulf.
High naphtha prices versus relatively low gasoline values are continuing to squeeze blending margins.

SOLVENTS

Oxy-solvent markets are likely to remain largely stable with most of the recent turbulent factors already priced in.
Phenol markets continue to be tight following numerous production issues while acetoneimports help compensate the shortfall in local supply.

INTERMEDIATES

The caustic soda market remains under-supplied. Europe is currently the tightest market globally, with buyers searching for import tons.

– Platts.com

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