Quarterly Update on Global Propylene Market
For the Quarter Ending September 2020
Propylene supply across Asia was observed getting tighter by the end of the Q3 with price discussions gradually picking up particularly in northeast Asia. Various planned and unplanned outages affected the functioning of fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) and steam cracking Naphtha units in Japan. Strong domestic demand in South Korea restricted the cargo availability for exports. Demand in China was more or less stable with buyers indicating the commissioning of two Propane Dehydrogenation (PDH) units in July possessing a total nameplate capacity of 1050 KTPA. Formosa Petrochemical Corporation (FPCC) announced maintenance shutdown of its No. 3 cracker located in Taiwan on August 11 for nearly 1.5 months. The cracker has Propylene production capacity of 600 KTPA. In addition, Yeochun NCC (YNCC) and SK Global Chemical were heard starting turnarounds for their crackers from August to October. With producers highlighting tight regional supply, CFR China Propylene prices were assessed at the USD 900 per tonne levels in mid-September. Demand for Propylene Derivatives was seen gaining strength by the end of into Q3.
The third quarter Propylene prices were settled at a narrow range with the demand outlook largely mixed-to-low owing to fragile economic conditions. Prompt availability of the product was affected largely by unexpected cracker turnarounds in early-August which were resolved by the first half of September. The ongoing outage at Borealis’ Stenungsund, Sweden cracker further exacerbated the shortness in product availability. The pricing graph last showed an upward trajectory in July when it was assessed around USD 780 per tonne FD NWE and then gradually tapered off by the end of the quarter. While refineries continued to run at reduced rates, primary driver Naphtha was on a slightly lower edge in August compared to July. Some players reported lackluster demand for Propylene derivatives while others surging Polypropylene consumption as the sweet spot.
Regional Propylene supply was affected by the prolonged shutdown of BASF Total’s Port Arthur cracker in Texas cracker. Hit by the pandemic-induced slowdown, the America’s combined refinery run rate was maintained around 75-80 pc due to depressed gasoline demand, further limiting the Propylene production. Series of force majeures declared due to hurricane Laura led to temporary disruption in the regional supply. US Gulf Propylene prices showed an uptick amid production issues and prospects turning positive as manufacturing activity gradually picked up during the quarter. The US DEL (delivered) Polymer-Grade Propylene (PGP) contract prices were settled at one-year high to around USD 715 per tonne and Chemical-Grade Propylene (CGP) was assessed at USD 683 per tonne in July.
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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.
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.
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 Propylene 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 Propylene 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 Global Propylene 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 Propylene are analyzed and region-wise demand pattern is tracked.
Propylene (C3H6), or Propene is a colorless, three carbon hydrocarbon with a naturally pungent smell. At room temperature, Propylene exists as an extremely flammable gas which becomes a liquid under pressure. It is the key chemical building block for a wide range of chemicals and petrochemicals after Ethylene. There are three grades of propylene- polymer grade (having minimum purity of 99.5 per cent), chemical grade (having minimum purity of 93-94 per cent), and refinery grade (with a purity of around 60-70 per cent). More than half of the Propylene consumed globally is used for the production of polypropylene (PP), a polymer popularly used for films and packaging applications and a key material for plastic parts used across various industries such as the automotive, textiles and many others. Other important PP derivatives are Acrylonitrile (ACN), Propylene Oxide (PO), Oxo-alcohols, Cumene and Acrylic Acid. The global Propylene industry is particularly complex because of various methods of production and variety of end uses it serves. Propylene is generally produced as a byproduct from the steam cracking of liquid petrochemical feedstocks such as naphtha and LPG, and from residual gases released in fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) units in refineries. Propylene is also produced via on-purpose technologies such as propane dehydrogenation (PDH), hydrodealkylation (HDA) of toluene, toluene disproportionation (TDP) and metathesis. Being strongly tied to several commodity petrochemicals, the overall Propylene consumption is strongly linked to the general economic conditions and the expansion of polymer and petrochemical industries across the globe.