Ethylene prices in Asia were assessed up in the week ended 12 April but were flat at week end as sluggish trading continued on Friday. The diverge trend continued between NE and SE Asian markets. Supply expected to rise amid weak demand. Meanwhile Taiwan’s Formosa shut its No. 1 naphtha-fed steam cracker in Mailiao on June 9 for a 40-day annual maintenance. However, this may have marginal impact on overall supply in the region. Asian markers, CFR NE was up US$5 a ton on the week while SEA CFR gained US$10 a ton.
European spot prices fell in the week as bearish forces prevailed on both supply and demand as derivative LDPE saw its first price fall since February. Naphtachimie’s cracker in Lavera which was shut after a fire erupted in Lavera on 17 May is slated to be back in operation in the fourth week of June. Further three European crackers have planned scheduled maintenance in August or September, which may bring in some balance in market fundamentals. Spot price was down Euro26 a ton FD NWE while the CIF NWE values fell US$11 a ton on the week.
In US, ethylene spot slipped as Dow resumes production at Louisiana facility. Meanwhile Williams ramped up setting June allocation at 50 per cent. In Latin America, PE production was steady in Argentina keeping demand for ethylene steady to firm. US spot ethylene dropped US cent 0.25 per pound FD USG on the week.
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