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European MEG Prices Stand in Contrast to US and Asian Markets in First Week of May
European MEG Prices Stand in Contrast to US and Asian Markets in First Week of May

European MEG Prices Stand in Contrast to US and Asian Markets in First Week of May

  • 09-May-2024 5:29 PM
  • Journalist: Yage Kwon

During the first week of May 2024, Mono Ethylene Glycol (MEG) prices exhibited varying trajectories across different regions, declining in the US and Asian Pacific markets while increasing in Europe. The price trend for MEG prices in each region is influenced by both upstream and downstream factors.

In the first week, the European MEG market witnessed a bullish trend, like in Germany, domestic MEG prices surged by approximately 4% compared to the previous week, driven by increased feedstock costs. Ethylene oxide, a key component of MEG production, saw a modest increase of around 0.7% during the same period. Despite moderate demand from downstream sectors such as PET resin and Polyester Staple Fiber, the overall market remained buoyant. However, oil prices experienced a sharp decline globally, attributed to geopolitical easing in the Middle East and overall weakness in fuel markets. European Brent crude traded near USD 84 a barrel, marking a weekly loss of over 6%, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude hovered just above USD 79/barrel.

Conversely, the US market observed a downward trend in MEG prices, with a decrease of around 2% in domestic regions. This decline was driven by lackluster demand from downstream industries, particularly PET resin and Polyester Staple Fiber manufacturing. Despite stable prices for Ethylene Oxide feedstock, lower crude oil prices persisted throughout the week. Moreover, The US MEG market has been on a downward trend since the previous month, despite average downstream demand. This decline was influenced by high crude oil inventories and the Ethylene Oxide operation rate in recent weeks. However, this week, US commercial crude oil inventories decreased by 1.4 million barrels, reaching 459.5 million barrels, approximately 3% below the five-year average for this period as per the report of Energy Information Administration.

Similarly, the Chinese MEG market experienced a slight decrease of 0.7% in prices, primarily due to balanced MEG feedstock prices and rapid production rates. Moderate downstream procurement activities were observed, with consistent demand for PET bottles during the summer season, while demand for Polyester Staple Fiber remained subdued. Over the May Day holiday, international crude oil prices plummeted significantly, with Brent crude oil falling by 5.95% and WTI crude oil by 6.85%, reaching their lowest levels in nearly two months. This decline was largely attributed to recently increased US inventory levels and expectations of a ceasefire in the Middle East, contributing to geopolitical tension easing.

In conclusion, the MEG prices are anticipated to continue their trajectory across all mentioned regions. This trend is influenced by downstream sector demand and the weekly fluctuations in crude oil prices.

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