US OLEFINS—FIRST-HALF 2008: High ethane demand tightens coproduct propylene supply

An increase in ethane cracking contributed to reduced coproduct propylene supply during first-quarter 2008. Because gas-plant ethane production will likely continue to increase during second and third-quarter 2008, ethane cracking will remain strong and may set additional records. Concurrently, however, coproduct propylene supply will remain tight.The trend toward a lighter feed slate persisted during first-quarter 2008 and into May. Feedstock demand for ethane reached a new record high of 847,000 b/d in December 2007 and averaged 800,000-820,000 b/d in first-quarter 2008, although two large ethylene plants with significant ethane demand were out of service for turnarounds in February and...

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