Plant turnarounds across Asia and USA, shoot up the global Ethylene price in Q1 2021.

Posted June 24, 2021 by chemanalyst

Ethylene is a colorless, odorless, flammable and compressed gas with a faintly pleasant odor. Ethylene is the simplest olefin and is one of the most important petrochemical intermediates for the synthesis of several products across plastics.

For the Quarter Ending March 2021


The Asian market faced huge demand for Ethylene and its derivatives from downstream sectors which significantly supported its prices. In China, Ethylene demand suddenly surged after lunar holidays, but tight supply boosted the prices. Meanwhile, South Korean Hanwha’s 310 KTPA manufacturing unit went for partial shutdown in March. This shutdown was implemented to expand its production capacity and it is anticipated to resume its operation in early Q2 2021. Furthermore, in February 2021, Sinopec Yangzi petrochemicals in China, shut down its naphtha cracker of production capacity 450,000 tonnes Ethylene per year for maintenance, which later resumed its operations in March. Amid high demand from downstream products manufacturers, lower supply spiked up the prices of Ethylene across the region. In India, supply shortages during January to February pushed up the prices of Ethylene to USD 854 per MT which later came down again to USD 828 per MT in March in effect of improvement in supply activities.

North America

North America struggled to satisfy rising demand of Ethylene as several production facilities faced force majeure and unplanned shutdowns during Q1 2021. Eastman chemicals at Longview, Texas suspended its operations after arrival of icy weather during February. Its plant capacity is 730,000 MT Ethylene per year. Meanwhile, INEOS also has undertaken its Ethylene plant of capacity 1.88 million MT per year off stream located at Texas. Similarly, several other plants dented the regional supply chain of Ethylene that skyrocketed the prices of Ethylene and its derivative products globally.


The European market had a firm demand from downstream sectors, though the supply remained tight due to several reasons. Container shortages reduced the exports and imports of feedstock materials across the region and some unplanned outages reduced the global supply for Ethylene. Price trend in Europe overall remained up, amid high demand and constrained product availability.

Market Overview:

Ethylene is a colorless, odorless, flammable and compressed gas with a faintly pleasant odor. Ethylene is the simplest olefin and is one of the most important petrochemical intermediates for the synthesis of several products across plastics, solvents, cosmetics, pneumatics, paints and packaging industries. Some of the widely used petrochemicals produced from Ethylene are polyethylene, ethylene dichloride, ethylene oxide, ethylene glycol, ethylbenzene, vinyl acetate etc. There are a variety of associated proprietary technologies used for Ethylene production across the globe. Ethylene is commercially produced by the steam cracking of a wide range of hydrocarbon feedstocks which are heated to 750–950 deg Celsius. Ethylene is separated from the resulting mixture by repeated compression and distillation. In Europe and Asia, Ethylene is mainly produced from cracking naphtha, gasoil and condensates while in the US, Canada and the Middle East, the production is carried out through ethane and propane cracking. Global Ethylene capacities have been unevenly spread across the global, influenced by infrastructure and port facilities, feedstock availability, economic growth, and downstream demand patterns.

Product Specific Details

CAS No.: 74-85-1; HS Code: 29012100; Grade: Grade 2.5, 3, 3.5, 4, 4.5, 5, 5.5; Packaging Size: Tanker/Drum; Incoterms: CFR, FOB, Ex-Works, Bulk Contracted, Spot

Countries Covered:

APAC – China, Japan, India, South Korea, Singapore
Europe – Germany, France, Belgium
America – USA, Brazil
MEA – Saudi Arabia, UAE, South Africa

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Last Updated June 24, 2021