US domestic propylene inventory came down for the first time in six weeks, Energy Information Administration data showed Wednesday.
The decline followed production issues at one propane dehydrogenation unit.
Stockpiles of propylene for non-fuel use were at 3.573 million barrels for the week ended November 16, down 390,000 barrels from the previous week, EIA data showed. Despite the decline, last week's inventory was still up from levels from a year ago at 2.601 million barrels.
The drop in inventory followed issues last week at Enterprise's Mont Belvieu, Texas, propane dehydrogenation unit. The company said in a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality dated November 15 that a heater tripped in the PDH unit, which resulted in flaring. The company did not comment on the filing, but trade participants said the unit should have come back online over this past weekend.
All three US propane dehydrogenation units had been back in operation since early October, leading to five consecutive weeks of growing inventory levels.
Although inventory was down EIA data showed refinery utilization rates last week at 92.7%, up 2.6% from a week earlier.
Market reaction to the EIA report was muted during the day. Prompt November polymer-grade propylene prices were at 45.125 cents/lb FD USG early Wednesday, flat from the previous day.
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