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Global Hexene Prices Surge Amidst Rising Crude Oil Costs and Inflation Concerns
Global Hexene Prices Surge Amidst Rising Crude Oil Costs and Inflation Concerns

Global Hexene Prices Surge Amidst Rising Crude Oil Costs and Inflation Concerns

  • 20-Sep-2023 11:51 AM
  • Journalist: Harold Finch

Global Hexene prices began their bullish trend in early September after a continuous free fall for over two months amidst the global rise in crude oil prices triggered by the OPEC+ production cut. The bullish trend in Hexene prices continued in Asia Pacific, while the North American market observed this trend for the past month.

In contrast, European markets, especially Germany, experienced bearish Hexene prices for over two months. This was due to weak and declining demand from downstream Polyethylene (PE) manufacturers, as consumer demand remained low. Market participants indicated that manufacturers favored lower production rates due to high energy costs, including top Hexene producers like INEOS and LyondellBasell. European Hexene remained uncompetitive globally due to inflated input pricing, leading top producers to rely on European trade rather than large-scale exports.

During the third week of September, Hexene CFR Hamburg was assessed at around USD 2970/MT, rising from USD 2900/MT at the beginning of September 2023. As Hexene prices continue to rise in Europe, procurement and market experts anticipate a decline in demand in the coming months. The rising prices of Hexene are expected to increase the input cost for downstream products, potentially contributing to inflation across the Eurozone, which is currently at 5.2%.

Hexene is a crucial component in the production of polyethylene products such as packaging films and general consumer electronics. With suppressed demand from consumers for end-use products and the expectation of a price decline, market participants suggest "hedging" against the impending global commodity price rise. One factor that contributed to the delayed rise of Hexene in the European economy is the nature of the energy supply, with Europe heavily reliant on natural gas.

In the Americas and Asia, Hexene prices started their bullish trend in the previous month. North America and Asia have crude oil-based economic systems, with feedstocks for basic commodities like Hexene derived from crude oil. While North America is self-sufficient in crude oil and requires minimal imports, Asia is import-dependent and felt the impact of rising crude prices earlier. South Korea and Japan import substantial amounts of Hexene, ethylene, and other olefins from China. Due to Russian discounts, China and India have preferred Russian oil over global supply, which provided lower costs along the value chains of olefins like Hexene and Butene. As Russian discounts decline, Hexene prices continue to rise in Asia.

Due to the robust performance of the global supply chain, the American economy continues to import substantial crude, pushing inflation and forcing Hexene prices to rise in their domestic economy. Chevron Phillips Chemical recently expanded its capacity in Baytown, Texas, to reduce import dependence from the Middle East and Asia and hedge against rising crude oil prices globally.

Saudi Arabia reported that a significant amount of Russian crude and petroleum products circulate back to Europe through India and China at cheaper costs, further extending global crude politics and production cuts. American crude oil production remains strong, with minimal imports of petroleum feedstocks and basic chemicals like Hexene from the Middle East. Saudi Arabia and Russia have reduced their oil production cut till the end of the year, resulting in a decline of 1.3 million bbl./day. According to ChemAnalyst, global commodity prices are expected to increase once again, inflating wholesale prices across the globe, starting from basic petrochemical products like Hexene and Butene.

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