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US EIA reports largest propane draw of season, demand hits 2.6 million b/d

US propylene stockpiles at yearly high two weeks in a row

Houston — US propylene inventories were up again last week, reaching a 2018 high for a second consecutive week, Energy Information Administration data showed on Thursday.

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Last week's inventory was also the highest level seen in nearly two years.

Stockpiles of propylene for non-fuel use were at 4.450 million barrels for the week that ended November 30, up 334,000 barrels from the previous week, EIA data showed. It was the highest domestic propylene stockpile level since the week of December 30, 2016, when they were at 4.642 million barrels.

The increase in domestic stockpiles comes amid slightly lower refinery utilization rates, which were down 0.1 percentage point at 95.5%. All three US propane dehydrogenation units have operated without any major issues since October.

Market reaction to the EIA report was muted during the day, however, with key trade participants out of the market due to an industry function. US spot polymer-grade propylene for prompt-month December delivery was assessed on Thursday at 38.00-38.50 FD USG, flat on the day.

--Brian Balboa, brian.balboa@spglobal.com

--Edited by Annie Siebert, ann.siebert@spglobal.com