Global Ethylene Prices Continue to Decline at the End of December 2022
- 29-Dec-2022 3:55 PM
- Journalist: Jacob Kutchner
Prices of Ethylene have witnessed a bearish price trend across the globe during the fourth week of December 2022, supported by weak feedstock prices. Several factors, such as fear of recession, plant shutdown, thin margins, gloomy demand, and volatile energy costs, have governed Ethylene prices.
In the Asian market, Ethylene prices have dropped as the demand from the downstream Polyethylene Glycol chain remained sluggish. Market buying sentiment has been termed rigid amid low consumption rates and restricted queries, as reported by participants. Additionally, feedstock Naphtha prices have slumped, resulting in low-cost pressure on its downstream product. Thus, prices of Ethylene in South Korea were settled at USD 866/MT with a weekly declination of 2.3% on 23rd December 2022.
As the holiday season approached, participants in the European Ethylene market reported limited inquiries from the downstream polyethylene and glycol industries, which reduced consumer confidence. Furthermore, the threat of a recession is milder than expected during Q4 of 2022 in Europe. On the other hand, domestic production costs remained stagnant amid stable natural gas prices. According to the data, European Title Transfer Facility (TTF) gas futures were trading around Euros 80/MWh ($85) on Wednesday, 28th December 2022. Meanwhile, ample product availability in the market further spurned the price of Ethylene. Thus, as a result, prices of Ethylene FD Hamburg were settled at USD 818/MT during the previous week.
Similarly, in the U.S. market, Ethylene prices have plunged by 4.3% due to inactive inquiries from the domestic and overseas markets. In addition, temperatures have started to dip ahead of the winter, which has caused a dramatic rise in natural gas costs and is forecasted to follow the uptrend further in the market. Moreover, sweeping Arctic blasts across the U.S. promoted the closure of several refinery plants and manufacturing units. In addition, a major manufacturer of Ethylene, Dow Chemical in Freeport, Texas, has a capacity of around 725,000 tonnes/year, which experiences compressor shutdown amid a burst of sub-freezing weather. In conclusion, Ethylene FOB U.S. Gulf prices were offered at USD 440/MT on 23rd December 2022.
According to the ChemAnalyst estimation, “Ethylene prices will continue to follow the downtrend in the global market during the upcoming weeks as the demand outlook has been bleak due to overall slowdown in exports amid a weak economy.”