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Oil, Gas, Petrochemical and Energy Field Specialized Channel

US Propylene Inventories at Seven-Year Low

Stocks of propylene for non-fuel use fell by 1.02 million barrels to 1.787 million barrels for the week ending September 14.

 

US stockpiles of propylene for non-fuel fell for a third consecutive week in mid-September, down by more than 1 million barrels to a seven-year low, according to data released Wednesday by the Energy Information Administration.

Stocks of propylene for non-fuel use fell by 1.02 million barrels to 1.787 million barrels for the week ending September 14, EIA data showed. The decline also brought inventory below 2 million barrels for the first time since May 20, 2011, when stockpiles were at 1.81 million barrels.

Stock levels were also down by 1.395 million barrels from the same time a year earlier, EIA data showed.

The decline came amid ongoing production issues at Enterprise's propane dehydrogenation unit in Mont Belvieu, Texas, trade sources said. The Mont Belvieu PDH is expected to be back online this week, market participants added. Enterprise has not commented on its operations at Mont Belvieu.

Also, Dow said in a state regulatory filing on September 15 that a compressor tripped at its Freeport, Texas, facility as a result of an issue with electrical power from a third party supplier. A source of flaring at the facility was also at the PDH unit. The company did not comment on the status of its PDH unit, but said in its regulatory filing that it reduced rates at Freeport and routed vents to flare system to minimize emissions.

US refinery run rates also fell 2.2% last week to 95.4% capacity utilization. This was still above refinery run rates of 83.2% from the year-ago week.

Despite lower inventory, propylene spot prices have held steady week on week, and feedstock propane costs have continued to firm. Prompt August PGP spot prices ended Tuesday at 57.50 cents/lb FD USG, unchanged from a week earlier.

 

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