Cracker outages propel ethylene spot prices to 3 month highs in SE Asia

27-Aug-10
Additional cracker outages this week leading to a scramble for spot material have propelled ethylene spot prices to three month highs of US$1000/ton in Southeast Asia. As per ICIS, a deal for a 3,000 ton cargo loading H1 September was reported at US$1000/ton FOB SE Asia, while bids for additional September shipments were in the mid to high US$900s/ton FOB SE Asia. Shell has shut its 800,000 tpa mixed feed cracker in Singapore early this week due to unspecified issues, and could tap the market to buy some ethylene spot cargoes to cover contractual obligations. Plant restart is uncertain, but operations had not been stable this month. Separately, Japan's Mitsui Chemicals shut its 617,000 tpa naphtha cracker in Ichihara, due to mechanical issues. These cracker outages are likely to intensify the already tight supply situation in northeast (NE) Asia.
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