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Ethylene Price Trend

About: Ethylene appears as a colourless gas with a sweet odour and taste. It is lighter than air. It is the simplest alkene and flammable in nature. It is extensively used in the industrial sector to produce polyethylene, a widely used plastic having polymer chains of ethylene units. It can also be hydrated to produce ethanol. 

Ethylene Regional Price Trend & Analysis

Get the latest insights on price movement and trend analysis of Ethylene in different regions across the world (Asia, Europe, North America, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa).

Ethylene Price Trend for the Second Quarter of 2022

Asia

During the said quarter, ethylene prices fell across the Asian market. Due to the increased volatility in the crude oil prices, the petrochemicals industry suffered. The Asian petrochemical market dwindled amid the recession fears, tightened supply, and lower market sentiment.

After the upliftment of covid-19 restrictions, the Chinese traders expected a turnaround in the market demand; however, no simultaneous rise occurred. The wait-and-see attitude from the downstream plastic makers and vast stockpiles of products in the market resulted in lower prices of ethylene.

The profit margins from producing Ethylene from naphtha dropped to 130 USD/MT from 450 USD in April 2022. Per ton price of ethylene averaged 1166-1176 USD CFR Northeast Asia and 1216-1226 USD CFR Southeast Asia in this quarter.

Europe

In line with the Asian counterpart, ethylene prices fell across the European domestic arena. Due to the European embargo on Russian oil, the market's watchful attitude caused the prices to fluctuate. The price averaged 1759-1768 USD/MT FD Northwest Europe and 1216-1226 USD/MT in the domestic market.

North America

The price of petrochemicals is highly dependent on the price of oil and allied products. Hence, the US domestic market followed similar global price trends for ethylene. High costs of inputs, tightened supply, and contractionary monetary policy by governments worldwide heightened the odds of recession which further caused the prices for petrochemicals to decline. The price of ethylene averaged FD 25.25 cents/lb in the said quarter.

For the First Quarter of 2022

Asia

CFR Northeast Asia and Southeast Asia ethylene prices were 1346-1356 USD/MT and  1346-1356 USD/MT, respectively in March.

Europe

In Europe, the chemical was priced in the range of 1785-1794 USD/MT, down 5 USD/MT, while CIF northwest Europe price was 1540 USD/MT, up 5 USD/MT in the third week of March. The international crude oil futures price increased dramatically.

North America

On March 23, the market price was 625-642 USD/MT in the US ethylene market, down 24 USD/MT. The ethylene market in the United States has recently risen, demand has been widespread, and the price of international crude oil futures has risen dramatically. The breakdown of the Caspian oil pipeline between Russia and Kazakhstan through OPC, which heightened fears of short-term supply tensions, was the main reason for this. On March 23, the main contract of WTI crude oil futures in the United States settled at 114.93 USD/barrel, up 5.66 USD or 5.2%. The main contract of Brent crude oil futures settled at 117.75 USD/barrel, up 5.29%.

For the Fourth Quarter of 2021

North America

After reaching an annual high of approximately 1250-1300 USD/MT in Q2 during the post-deep freeze period, when many refineries were forced to shut down or declare force majeure, spot prices reached 55% of the Q2 peak and settled at 765 USD/MT FOB Houston in the final weeks of December FY21. For the majority of Q4, the decline in natural gas prices contributed significantly to the decline in ethylene pricing. Refineries reduced production from Q3 levels as active restocking and rerouting of shipments from Asia to Europe following the harsh frost created a surplus of C2 in the domestic markets entering Q4. Thus, supply exceeded demand throughout the most of the last quarter of 2021, adding to the downward pressure on pricing.

Asia

Asian ethylene market prognosis for Q4 FY21 was described as volatile for the most part, since the far east Asian market had a price spike in October, owing mostly to the region's import dominance. The average price for China in Q4 was estimated to be 1120 USD/MT on a CFR Shanghai basis. South-East Asia, too, had a similar pattern. The Middle East, on the other hand, had a steadier market for ethylene, with an average price of 1075 USD/MT FOB in Q4. Feedstock naphtha costs were also significantly higher in Q4 of FY21 compared to Q3 of FY21. India's ethylene prices, ex-JNPT, were roughly INR 81500 in Q4, a 13% increase over Q3 prices.

Europe

During the early half of Q4 FY21, the European market was harmed by supply-side limitations and rising freight costs. Imports from North America were quoted higher than the previous quarter, with average prices in North-West Europe evaluated at 1355 USD/MT FD Hamburg, a 10 USD/MT increase over the previous quarter. Demand from downstream polymers sectors such as polyethylene and polyvinyl chloride increased somewhat in Q4 compared to Q3, however demand from the majority of end user industries dwindled in December.

For First, Second and Third Quarters of 2021

North America

North America failed to meet the increased demand in Q1 2021, as some production facilities were forced to shut down due to force majeure and unscheduled shutdowns. The region experienced volatility in the pricing in second quarter, owing to fluctuating upstream crude prices and uncertain worldwide demand. Economic revival resulted in a surge in demand for downstream polymers in the United States of America. While supply of downstream goods remained scarce due to limited plant operations, ethylene prices continued to rise throughout the quarter. Demand was stable until the end of the quarter.

In Q3 2021, ethylene prices in the United States of America began to decline after reaching record highs the previous quarter, aided by abundant supplies of the commodity as factories functioned at peak efficiency. Prices increased dramatically in mid-July across Texas and Louisiana, owing to the unanticipated disruptions. In August, despite the Gulf Coast's climatic disaster, prices stabilized as a result of manufacturing plants restarting with little or no delay following the Ida Hurricane's aftermath. Thus, from July through September, FOB-US ethylene prices ranged between 1025 USD/MT and 910 USD/MT. Increased demand from downstream industries was expected to drive the prices higher in the coming months.

Asia

The Asian market faced high demand for ethylene and its derivatives from downstream industries, which boosted its prices considerably. In China, demand soared unexpectedly during the lunar holidays, but constrained supply pushed prices higher. Due to increased demand from downstream product producers, a lack of supply increased the prices across the area. In India, supply constraints in January and February boosted prices to 854 USD/MT, before falling to 828 USD/MT in March as supply activities improved. Several price swings occurred in the Asian market during the second quarter. In India, ethylene prices continued to be driven by demand-supply imbalances, pandemic revival, upstream crude pricing, and import-export activity. Thus, during the first week of June, ethylene prices in China and India were 690 USD/MT and 843.2 USD/MT, respectively.

In the third quarter, the Asian market experienced an exponential increase in the price of ethylene, fueled by an unprecedented increase in the price of the feedstock naphtha. Additionally, the Ida storm in the United States disrupted supply chains, resulting in the region's feedstock naphtha being unavailable. In India, tighter supply resulted in product shortages on the domestic market, which contributed to the inflation of prices during this era. Thus, Ex Mumbai ethylene prices were estimated at 1022.59 USD/MT in India, following a 130.78 USD/MT increase between July and September.

Europe

The price trend in Europe as a whole stayed upward, owing to high demand and limited product availability. Downstream polymer prices continued to rise during this period due to insufficient spot supply in the face of stable to strong downstream end user demand. However, prices continued to fluctuate in response to shifting crude oil prices in the worldwide market, while the general forecast in the European market remained favorable throughout the quarter.

In Q3 2021, the European market for ethylene saw diverse attitudes across the area. Between July and August, a little increase in its price was noted, owing to the product's restricted availability and greater logistic expenses. However, in the second part of the quarter, the prices declined as a result of diminished consumer spending power and abundant supply in the region. FR Hamburg prices increased to 1002 USD/MT in August, indicating a minor increase of 4 USD/MT from July, followed by a 37 USD/MT fall in September.

South America

After Braskem cut operating rates at all of its naphtha and gas crackers in July, Brazil's ethylene inventory was more balanced, and polyethylene sales were lower than planned in August. In July, Braskem exported 15000 MT of the chemical cargo from Trinfo in Rio Grande do Sul, with 9000 MT going to China for 921 USD/MT FOB and 6000 MT going to the Netherlands for 1004 USD/MT FOB.

For the Year 2020

North America

Hurricane Laura disrupted ethylene cracker plants, resulting in lower average production. Despite lower demand and lower ethane prices in September, the prices were higher than natural gas due to market predictions of ongoing consumption growth and a rise in exports at the end of the year. Through September, spot ethylene prices in Mont Belvieu, Texas (the main US HGL hub) averaged 2.99 USD/MMBtu, a 1.07 USD premium over natural gas spot prices at Henry Hub, which averaged 1.92 USD/MMBtu.

Asia

The market was subdued to low when the third quarter began, owing to abundant supply and consistent demand. Ethylene prices fell sharply in the first half of the quarter, with July and August bids bidding about 750-800 USD/MT CFR Northeast Asia. However, as a result of many big manufacturers temporarily ceasing operations at the end of the third quarter to balance their inventory levels, supply began to tighten. ExxonMobil, headquartered in Singapore, shut down its 1 million tpy cracker in mid-September until the end of October for long-overdue maintenance. Buyers in Southeast Asia preferred deep-sea and Middle Eastern origin cargoes to alleviate supply chain constraints. On the demand side, spot demand was strengthened by better PE operations in anticipation of a recovery of demand during numerous Asian nations' peak season.

Europe

In 2020, the price in Europe was 30% lower that is significant compared to 2019. During the same year, less significant declines were reported in the United States of America and the Middle East, 11.4% and 15 %, respectively. The global picture for 2020 sent a clear message that Europe continues to lag behind the United States and the Middle East in terms of competitiveness. In 2020, Europe had the highest cash cost of the chemical .European margins, which topped 600 USD/MT at the end of 2020, were expected to remain steady in Q1 2021 and then decline to 300 USD/MT by the middle of the year. To take advantage of the strong margins, Western European output increased in 2020 compared to 2019, a trend that was anticipated to continue into 2021 barring unexpected disruptions.

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Procurement Resource provides latest prices of Ethylene. Each price database is tied to a user-friendly graphing tool dating back to 2014, which provides a range of functionalities: configuration of price series over user defined time period; comparison of product movements across countries; customisation of price currencies and unit; extraction of price data as excel files to be used offline.

Chart Description

Procurement Resource provides prices of Ethylene for several regions around the globe, which are as follows:

  • North America
  • South America
  • Europe
  • Asia Pacific
  • Middle East
  • Africa

Chemical Formula of Ethylene

  • C2H4 

Synonyms:

  • 74-85-1
  • Ethene
  • Green ethylene

Molecular Weight

  • 28.05 g/mol

Industrial Uses

  • Polymerisation
  • Oxidation
  • Intermediates
  • Halogenation and hydrohalogenation
  • Manufacturing
  • Plasticisers
  • Hydration and oligomerisation
  • Processing aid, specific to petroleum production

Production Process:

  • Production of Ethylene via Steam Cracking Process.

In this process, ethane is used as a feedstock and is heated at a temperature ranging from 750 to 950 °C with steam.  This results in the conversion of large and complex hydrocarbons into smaller ones and further causes unsaturation, which finally produces Ethylene.

Supplier Database:

  • Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC)
  • Dow Chemical Company
  • LyondellBasell Industries Holdings B.V.
  • INEOS Capital Limited
  • Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC

Note: Our supplier search experts can assist your procurement teams in compiling and validating a list of suppliers indicating they have products, services, and capabilities that meet your company's needs.

Methodology:

The displayed pricing data is derived through weighted average purchase price, including contract and spot transactions at the specified locations unless otherwise stated. The information provided comes from the compilation and processing of commercial data officially reported for each nation (i.e. government agencies, external trade bodies, and industry publications).

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Ethylene Production Cost Report: Operating Costs, Logistics, Utilities, Manufacturing Process, and Raw Material Requirements See more

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