Tight supply, rising RGP prop up initial US Sept propylene contracts

Initial US propylene contracts for September were settled at an increase of 12 cents/lb (US$265/ton), propped up by tight supply, steady demand and a jump in refinery-grade propylene (RGP) prices, as per ICIS pricing. However, a market-wide settlement was yet to be reached. RGP rose by more than 15 cents/lb in August due to restricted avails, pushing up contracts. RGP is key factor in determining CGP and PGP contract prices because around 70% of higher-purity US propylene is made from it. Initial settlements would put polymer-grade propylene (PGP) at 57cents/lb and chemical-grade propylene (CGP) at 55.50 cents/lb. US monomer prices more than doubled between January and August, and the expected jump in September is the eighth monthly increase in 2009. Propylene price rose every month except in April, when contracts settled flat. Key producers in USA include Equistar, ExxonMobil, Chevron Phillips Chemical, Shell Chemical and Enterprise Products, while Basell, Total, Solutia, Dow Chemical and INEOS are among the main buyers.
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