Propylene prices jumped 12% in January to $1,340 per metric ton, according to Platts Global Petrochemical Index. Prices had been $1,500 a ton a year ago, and then dropped to almost $1,000 a ton last summer.
The reasons for the roller-coaster market dynamics are complicated, and relate to gasoline production, growth of natural gas production in the U. S., and producer strategies to boost profit margins. Despite its importance, propylene has generally been produced as a by- or co-product of something else, and as a result has been whipsawed as fossil fuel economics and production approaches change.
- Dow: 750,000 metric ton/year plant in Freeport, Texas.
- Formosa Plastics: 600,000 metric ton/year plant in Point Comfort, Texas.
- Williams Energy: 455,000 metric ton/year plant in Alberta, Canada.
- Enterprise Products Partners (EPP): 750,000 metric tons per year on the Texas Gulf Coast.
- C3 Petrochemicals: Capacity for a plant in Chocolate Bayou, Texas, has not been disclosed.