Register with us today

and in less than 60 seconds continue your access to:Latest news headlinesAnalytical topics and featuresCommodities videos, podcast & blogsSample market prices & dataSpecial reportsSubscriber notes & daily commodity email alerts

Already have an account?

Log in to register

Forgot Password

Please Note: Platts Market Center subscribers can only reset passwords via the Platts Market Center

Enter your Email ID below and we will send you an email with your password.

  • Email Address* Please enter email address.

If you are a premium subscriber, we are unable to send you your password for security reasons. Please contact the Client Services team.

If you are a Platts Market Center subscriber, to reset your password go to the Platts Market Center to reset your password.

In this list
Oil | Petrochemicals

European crackers set to push for margins going into June

Energy | Oil | Crude Oil | Gasoline | Coronavirus

Signs of China's oil demand recovery emerge


Platts Market Data – Oil

Commodities | Agriculture | Biofuels | Oil

Geneva Biofuels Conference

Natural Gas | Oil | Petrochemicals | Aromatics | Polymers

FACTBOX: Petrochemical markets see some support as shutdowns ease

European crackers set to push for margins going into June

New York — European petrochemical crackers will have a push on costs going into June, sources said, with cracker margins down 32% in May in the contract market and nearly 60% lower in the spot market.

Not registered?

Receive daily email alerts, subscriber notes & personalize your experience.

Register Now

The easing of COVID-19 lockdowns since beginning of May gave a boost to the feedstock naphtha on the back of rising gasoline demand, and cracker "margins got destroyed this month", market sources said.

In addition, ethylene supply has become less long since mid-May on the effect of unplanned issues and delays in restarts from maintenance, and a similar supply picture was expected in June, market sources said.

On average in May, NWE cracker margins stood at Eur575/mt ($627/mt) in the contract market, around Eur271/mt below April averages, while in the spot market, the drop was more significant, down Eur304/mt from April to around Eur205/mt in May, S&P Global Platts data showed.

Meanwhile, a mixed picture on demand in the key petrochemical derivatives remained, with consumers reviewing their June volume.

Recovery from the pandemic effect was expected to be gradual and depend on the return of the end-user consumption and current product inventories along the value chains.

In polyethylene, LDPE demand was expected to remain steady, especially from packaging applications, with less supply due to the effect from the Borealis Stenunsgund unit outage in Sweden.

However, demand in other PE grades looked lackluster, with "LLDPE and HDPE prices softer, with good availability", a market source said.

In the propylene market -- which has been balanced in recent months despite the pandemic, helped by refinery run cuts -- supply-demand uncertainties also prevailed. While steady demand was expected from 19 essential applications, including packaging and medical, overall demand may be affected by the slow recovery of the automotive industry, a key propylene consumer, sources said.

Also going into June, increased gasoline demand was allowing European refineries to resume higher rates, which would bring back more propylene supply, weakening the market balance.

"Both ethylene and propylene will be interesting in June. The feedstocks are surely going up," a source said, adding that "ethylene is easier, with balance also improving, but propylene is moving in the opposite direction".

With May bringing a boost to the upstream market, naphtha was expected to remain firm going into June, with a mixture of demand from the gasoline and petrochemical sectors helping.

On average spot prices, CIF NWE naphtha prices stood at $214/mt in May, around $76/mt above April averages, Platts data showed Friday.