(I am posting this update here due to problems at the private board, I have notified yahoo of the issue)
Heavy NGL prices posted gains at both hubs this week as crude oil prices approached $100 per barrel (/bbl) for much of the week, due to fears from unrest in the Middle East.
Butane and its sister product, isobutane, experienced the greatest improvements at both hubs as refiners begin to focus on making winter-grade gasoline. The Conway price for butane rose 15% to $1.40 per gallon (/gal), its highest price since it was $1.41/gal the week of May 9. The Mont Belvieu price rose 7% to $1.53/gal, the highest price at the hub since the week of May 23 when it was $1.54/gal.
Conway isobutane prices were greater than their Mont Belvieu counterparts for the third straight week. The Conway price rose 16% to $1.86/gal while the Mont Belvieu price rose 7% to $1.67/gal. These were the highest prices at the hubs since May.
Although C5+ has the closet correlation to crude oil prices, they experienced the smallest gains of any heavy NGL at both hubs this week. The Mont Belvieu price rose 5% to $2.19/gal while the Conway price rose 2% to $2.04/gal.
As heavy NGL prices improved at both hubs, light NGL prices moved in opposite directions between the two hubs with the Conway prices improving and the Mont Belvieu prices dropping.
The Mont Belvieu ethane price dropped 7% to 33¢/gal, although the price was stable throughout the week following a steady drop last week as the market reacted to fears of oversupply along with inventory sell-offs by several petrochemical companies. This was the lowest price at the hub in five weeks.
While Mont Belvieu prices were sluggish, the Conway price continued its rebound from months of scheduled ethane cracker outages. In addition, prices have been supported by increased transportation capacity out of the hub on the Cochin and MAPL pipelines along with ethane rejection in the Mid-Continent. The price rose 7% to 20¢/gal, its highest price since the week of March 21 when it was 26¢/gal.
Since Conway ethane trades as an E-P mix, Conway propane prices benefited from improved ethane prices at the hub. Propane prices rose 9% to 81¢/gal in the Mid-Continent. This was their highest price since the week of April 25 when they were 85¢/gal. The Mont Belvieu propane price fell 1% to 93¢/gal, which remained the hub’s second highest price in 15 weeks.
The Conway theoretical NGL barrel price rose 8% to $39.12/bbl.The Mont Belvieu NGL barrel improved 3% to $43.52/bbl.
(I can't post a link, the story is from Mid-Stream business - August 23rd)