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NGLs Week is PetroChem Wire's comprehensive summary of price trends, upstream and downstream costs, operations news and supply/demand forecasts. The report contains everything you'll need to understand what's happening in the NGL markets.

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January ethylene contract settles with increase

HOUSTON, February 2, 2017 (PCW) – Parties settling monthly contracts have been confirmed to have reached a January ethylene contract price of 33.5, up 1.25 cpp from December.

January spot ethylene last traded at 35.75 cpp, its high of the month, on Tuesday and traded in a range of 27.5-35.75 cpp for the month. The 30-day January ethylene calendar average was 34.02 cpp, up 6.904 cpp from December. The 30-day weighted average came in at 31.092 cpp (up 5.506 cpp from December) for Texas and 31.092 cpp (up 5.498 cpp) for Texas-Louisiana combined. The 45-day ethylene weighted average was 30.512 cpp (basis Texas only), up 5.249 cpp from December.

In terms of cash costs, ethane-based costs in the Gulf region in January averaged 9.347 cpp, down 2.632 cpp from 11.979 cpp in December. Propane basis costs in January averaged 17.037 cpp, up 0.298 cpp from 16.739 cpp in December. On an average basis, however, natural gasoline was the most advantaged feedstock in terms of its cash cost at 8.222 cpp.

The increase in the contract price comes as spot prices climbed as two ethylene units went down for planned maintenance, while another two operated at reduced rates. The Gulf Coast cracker operating rate in January was 93.6% compared to 89.9% in December. Some 338 million pounds of ethylene output was lost in January, compared to 516 million pounds in December, according to PetroChem Wire estimates. --Samantha Hartke

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