The Mont Belvieu, Texas, hypothetical NGL barrel rebounded to above $20 for the first time in five weeks as prices and margins improved across the board at the hub.
Isobutane led the upswing with a 14.9% weekly increase that brought it above 70 cents per gallon (gal) for the first time since late April. Butane was up 8.4% and ethane rose 6.6% on the week, though its price continued to languish below 15 cents/gal. Ethane’s margin, though improved, remained in the negative.
The surge in production from U.S. shale plays makes exports even more important and results in competition between NGL, such as propane and butane, in the international fuels market, EnVantage Inc. said in a report. Markets in temperate climates such as Latin America and Southeast Asia, especially India, favor normal butane.