Ethylene Prices Overview

Market Overview

Quarterly Update on Global Ethylene Market
For the Quarter Ending September 2020
Ethylene sentiments were heard muted-to-low, entering the third quarter on the back of ample supplies and stable demand. Sharp reduction in prices was observed in the first half of the quarter with offers bidding around USD 750-800/t CFR northeast Asia for July & August. However, as several major producers went temporarily offline by the end of the third quarter to balance out their inventory levels, supply started getting tightened. Singapore-based ExxonMobil shut its 1mn tpy cracker for its long overdue maintenance in mid-September till the end of October. To ease supply side issues, buyers in Southeast Asia were seen opting for deep-sea and Middle East origin cargoes. On the demand front, spot demand was bolstered by improved PE operations due to the expected return in demand during the peak season in several Asian countries.
North America
Ethylene margins showed substantial improvement after witnessing a historic plunge in the second quarter in the Americas. Supply remained tight as several US crackers remained shut in their battle with Hurricane Laura and related storms with around 20 per cent still offline at the closing of Q3. US’ Ethylene margins got tripled since mid-May, with exports rising considerably on the back of recovering Asian demand and a continuing arbitrage. The demand for Polyethylene (PE) started emerging strong due to re-opening overseas economies and greater demand from the packaging sector. US Ethylene spot prices surged nearly by 60% since mid-May during Q3. Several US Polyethylene producers mainly Chevron Philips Chemicals, Westlake Chemical, Ineos Olefins & Polymers, INVISTA among others remained shut for specified durations during Aug-Sep period.

The European Ethylene market remained amply supplied despite some unplanned cracker turnarounds during the quarter ending September. The supply remained lengthened despite prolonged outage at 625,000 MTPA Borealis Stenungsund cracker in Sweden which is likely to resume operations in Q4FY20. The pricing curve remaining largely flat as the market kept quiet amidst battered economy. While improvement in derivatives demand from the construction sector and the automotive sector served well for regional suppliers, dullness in the packaging sector kept the sales pressured. The European Ethylene contract reference price for August was maintained at USD 950/t, up by USD 25/t from July.

How we can help

ChemAnalyst addresses the key problematic areas and risks associated with chemical and petrochemical business globally and enables the decision-maker to make smart choices. It identifies and analyses factors such as geopolitical risks, environmental risks, raw material availability, supply chain functionality, disruption in technology and so on. It targets market volatility and ensures clients navigate through challenges and pitfalls in an efficient and agile manner. Timeliness and accuracy of data has been the core competency of ChemAnalyst, benefitting domestic as well as global industry in tuning in to the real-time data points to execute multi-billion-dollar projects globally.

Market Analysis

Company-wise installed capacity, production volume and plant operating efficiency is captured directly from manufacturers. Import and Export volume is captured from government sources and demand for Acrylonitrile is calculated considering the production, import, export and inventory-levels on the country and regional level markets.

Pricing Analysis

Acrylonitrile price is correlated with the price trend of crude oil, demand-supply gap, Propylene and with movement across the downstream derivatives such as acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS), styrene-acrylonitrile (SAN) etc.

Company Profile

Basic details and information on financial performance of leading global players in the Acrylonitrile market is presented in a visually captivating manner. Expansion plans and the company’s strategy is also captured to understand the vision and mission of the company to help understand the areas where companies need to focus more.

News & Deals

Daily updates on industry-specific and product-specific news, exclusive primary-based news capturing plant shutdowns/outages/closures, capacity expansions, operating rates, insights on demand-supply situation, awarding of technology licenses, new product launch and deals specifying mergers and acquisitions, strategic investments and disinvestments, to help players capitalize on market opportunity.


ChemAnalyst gathers information through primary research surveys conducted with various Ethylene manufacturers, spread across the domestic and international markets, suppliers and dealers/distributors to gain insights into value-chains and demand-supply scenario to assess the market situation. Thorough study of the company’s annual reports and secondary sources such as exhaustive search on credible paid databases, including our internal database is done to verify the information. All the collected information is analyzed, evaluated and presented in chronological order to depict a meaningful and clear picture of the concerned market.
Our dedicated team of industry experts comprehensively monitors and analyzes various aspects of the Global Ethylene market. The team analyzes various industrial segments, strategic viewpoints and provides an analysis of the industry’s performance in the long run. This would enable our clients in efficiently plan their future investments, mitigate risk, understand the cost dynamics and strike out a balance amidst market volatility.
Critical examination of the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the global supply chains and shift in demand patterns with change in buying behavior of consumers across the globe.
Several ongoing development projects across industries are tracked, followed by the details of major projects in the development stage, which can positively or negatively influence the Global Ethylene market.
Pricing is captured through exhaustive primary interviews with domestic and international manufacturers, traders and importers and customers on monthly and yearly basis.

Finally, region-specific markets for Ethylene are analyzed and region-wise demand pattern is tracked.


Ethylene is a colorless, odorless, flammable and compressed gas with a faintly pleasant odor. Ethylene is the simplest olefin and is one of the most important petrochemical intermediates for the synthesis of several products across plastics, solvents, cosmetics, pneumatics, paints and packaging industries. Some of the widely used petrochemicals produced from Ethylene are polyethylene, ethylene dichloride, ethylene oxide, ethylene glycol, ethylbenzene, vinyl acetate etc. There are a variety of associated proprietary technologies used for Ethylene production across the globe. Ethylene is commercially produced by the steam cracking of a wide range of hydrocarbon feedstocks which are heated to 750–950 deg Celsius. Ethylene is separated from the resulting mixture by repeated compression and distillation. In Europe and Asia, Ethylene is mainly produced from cracking naphtha, gasoil and condensates while in the US, Canada and the Middle East, the production is carried out through ethane and propane cracking. Global Ethylene capacities have been unevenly spread across the global, influenced by infrastructure and port facilities, feedstock availability, economic growth, and downstream demand patterns.