Ethylene producers continue to enjoy strong margins as Asian supply remains tight, even as crude and naphtha values have plunged.
Naphtha cracker margins remain at high levels. The ethylene balance looks tight, with additional demand from new downstream capacity. Profitable polyethylene and MEG production, which consumes almost 80pc of Asia’s ethylene, has also lent strong support.
Asian propylene values have strengthened recently on tight supplies amid production cuts at naphtha crackers and olefins conversion units and lower propylene output from residue fluid catalytic crackers. The cuts successfully pulled margins at propylene producers back to positive territory, at the expense of downstream users that are facing lower prices for their products, ranging from polypropylene, propylene oxide and acrylic acids to oxo alcohol.
Changing feedstock, investment and olefins production economics in the US
Asian olefins markets – how naphtha-based supplies stack up versus PDH/MTO
LPG – will future supplies support PDH plants?
MTO – will this be the game changer in Chinese olefins market?
What the Mideast Gulf needs to retain its market leadership in the sector
Can Europe step up to the new challenges from Asia?
Olefins shipping – is it ready for the new olefins global trade dynamics?
The impact of changes on key downstream markets – polymers, MEG and others