Ethylene prices strong in Asia and Europe, softer in USA

29-Nov-10
Ethylene markets moved in different directions with prices moving north in Asia and Europe and spot offers retreating in line with weakening demand for the approaching month of December, as per Chemorbis. In Europe, initial ethylene contracts for December settled with increases of €27/ton (US$36/ton) on FD NWE basis - the new contract level was followed by several producers. This increase is attributed to the higher European naphtha prices, which jumped around US$40/ton over a week’s time just before the settlement. Now, in euro terms, naphtha prices indicate a two-year high in the region. Looking at Asia, spot ethylene offers rose by US$85/ton on CFR NEA basis and US$50/ton on CFR SEA when compared to the previous week. This firming trend is due to the better demand in China, as lower cracker operations and tight naphtha avails caused the eaffects of the diminishing ethylene production to be felt more intensively in Northeast Asia. Meanwhile, in Southeast Asia, spot ethylene prices also gained ground due to the better demand for prompt cargoes although the magnitude of demand was not as good as in Northeast Asia and therefore, the increase amount was relatively smaller in this region. However, in the US, spot ethylene prices indicate US$30/ton decreases on a weekly basis despite the fact that prices stand $190/ton above the level at the beginning of November. This recent step down on the spot market is triggered by the weakening demand in the region. Sellers complain about not even receiving any bids from buyers to size their response.
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