Propylene prices strengthened by almost US$150/MT in Asia, as demand in China improved. FOB Korea December shipment propylene was up to levels of US$425/MT. After successful conclusion of deals at this level, sellers have raised offers by about twenty dollars to US$500/MT CFR China. Monotony prevailed in ethylene markets as sellers did not down revise US$400/MT CFR Asia offers to buyers expectations that are pegged fifty dollars lower. The outlook continues to be grim for Asian ethylene as several naphtha crackers are scheduled to come onstream in the Middle East. Asian producers, who have lowered run rates by 15-20% to bide deteriorating demand, seem unlikely to gain normal operating rates through 2009. A total of nine crackers will come on stream in 2009. Hence ethylene markets will be faced not only with duller demand and oversupply, but also fewer plant turnarounds planned through next year.