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ANALYSIS: NGLs Year in Review -- ethane and propane
HOUSTON, December 22, 2015 (PCW) -- Ethane and propane prices have lost 28-29% of their value over the course of the year as crumbling crude and natural gas futures prices outweighed high operating rates at petrochemical facilities and increased exports (see graph below).
Ethane, in fact, is closing out the year by hitting lows not seen since PetroChem Wire began assessing NGL prices in 2007. USGC spot propane prices are also in the same boat, but rallied slightly by the end of the week.
What has been bearing down upon ethane is natural gas futures prices, which are now at nadirs not seen since the late 1990s. Rampant production and lackluster utility demand have largely been the culprits for natural gas’ collapse, overshadowing more bullish factors for ethane: higher cracker operating rates (nearly 95% for the year-to-date compared with 91% for the same period last year).
Propane, meanwhile, has borne the brunt of softer crude prices with WTI coming in at nearly a 10-year low over the last few days. -- Samantha Hartke
To read the full analysis, check out NGLs Week here.