Railcar &PetroChemical Update:US Chemical Shipments up 6.1%.Ethane up 1c/gal to 27c/gal

类别:行业研究 机构:德意志银行 研究员:David Begleiter 日期:2017-11-14

Railcar loadings 4-week moving average +6.1%. Weekly loadings up 6.9%

    The 4-week moving avg of chemical railcar loadings increased 6.1% in Week#43(ended 10/21/2017) vs. a 4.7% increase the prior week. Loadings YTD areup 0.8%. Chemical railcar loadings represent 20% of total US chemicalshipment tonnage (followed by trucks, barges, and pipelines), offering a trendof broader chemical industry activity and demand. The more volatile measureof weekly loadings increased 6.9% YoY (versus a 6.2% increase in the priorweek) and decreased 0.5% sequentially (vs. a 0.7% decrease in the prior week).

    Ethane prices up 1.2c/gal to 27.0c/gal. Propane up 7.6c/lb to 98.0c/gal

    Ethane prices rose 1.2c/gal last week to 27.0c/gal (vs its fuel value of 20c/gal). While US ethane supply/demand (s/d) fundamentals remain loose,ethane rejection, which peaked at 500-600k bpd in 1H16, has declinedfollowing the September ’16start-up of Enterprise Products 200k bpd ethaneexport facility in Houston. Starting in Q4’17, we expect US ethane s/dfundamentals to tighten further, driven by 600k bpd of new demand from thestart-up of 8greenfield ethylene crackers in ’17-’19. As the market tightens,we expect ethane to trade toward its historical premium of ~10c/gal vs its fuelvalue, with the premium reflecting fractionation, transportation and storagecosts. Based on DB’s ’17US Natural Gas price forecast of $2.93/MMBtu, weestimate ethane prices will likely move toward 30c/gal by year-end ‘17.

    Propane prices rose 7.6c/lb last week to 98.0c/gal. While propane inventorieswere down 2% last week to 78MM bbls, they are 17% and 9% below their 3and 5-yr avgs, respectively. Longer term, we expect propane inventories todecline due to higher exports (+20% in ’16vs up 12% in ‘15, up in ’17E).

    Spot ethylene down 1.6c/lb to 28.2c/lb. Margins down 1.7c/lb to 11.5c/lb

    Spot ethylene prices fell 1.6c/lb last week to 28.2c/lb (vs the Septembercontract price of 35.25c/lb). Spot deals for October ranged from 27.375to29.0c/lb with deals for November ranged between 27.5-28.25c/lb. Averagespot ethylene margins compressed 1.7c/lb last week to 11.2c/lb on lowerselling prices and higher production costs.

    Polymer grade (PG) propylene spot prices were lower last week with deals forOctober delivery at 44.5-45.5c/lb. October propylene contract prices settled up1.5c/lb at 48.0c/lb for PG and 46.5c/lb for chemical grade. This follows a 7c/lb increase in September. The 8.5c/lb, or 21%, increase in propylene pricesin September and October has been driven by supply tightness due to theHurrricane Harvery which caused outages at multiple US Gulf Coast olefinsand refinieres as well as delaying a new propane dehydrogenation (PDH) unitwhich had been scheduled to start up in September.

    ~11% of North American ethylene capacity expected to be offline in November

    Per IHS, CP Chem’s Cedar Bayou, TX cracker (2.1% of North American {NA}ethylene capacity) and Sweeny, TX cracker (0.6% of NA ethylene capacity), andEquistar’s La Porte, TX cracker (3.1% of NA ethylene capacity) remain offline asa result of Hurricane Harvey. Dow’s Taft, LA (#1) cracker (1.6% of NA ethylenecapacity), Dow’s Taft, LA (#2) cracker (1% of NA ethylene capacity) and Shell’sDeer Park, TX cracker (3% of NA ethlylene capacity) will be offline in Novemberfor planned turnaround work. For ’17, IHS forecasts NA ethylene productionlosses of 5.2B lbs, or 6.3%, of capacity. This compares to 4.5B lbs, or 5.5%, ofcapacity in ’16and 3.1B lbs, or 4.1%, of ethylene capacity in ’15.

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