Ethylene spot prices in Europe plunge to 6 month lows

European ethylene spot prices hit a six month low at the end of last week, following improved supply and flat derivative offtake, sources said in Platts. Ethylene FD NWE spot prices were assessed at Eur851/mt FD NWE, down Eur28/mt on the day, and Eur7/mt on the week. This is a low not seen since March 19 2015. "The momentum is down, because the supply and demand balance is shifting and ethylene is becoming more available, a buyer said. This was in spite of the start of the European Autumn maintenance season. Dow's 565,000 mt/year Bohlen cracker in Germany started its maintenance at the end of August. Borealis shut its cracker in Stenungsund, Sweden for a 45-day maintenance in early September and LyondellBasell will conduct a maintenance at its German Munchsmunster cracker in September-October. The impact on prices of the maintenance season was limited by flat derivative polyethylene demand on bearish price expectations after the recent weakness in feedstock naphtha, sources said. Naphtha was assessed at US$411/mt CIF NWE Friday, down US$8.50/mt on the day. For the low density polyethylene market, supply had significantly improved relative to earlier in the year, and customers continued to buy hand to mouth, according to sources. Prices were assessed Friday at Eur1,290/mt FD NWE.
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