Market Insights

Market Insights

Market Insights: Navigating Recent Trends in Energy and Petrochemicals – Week of 15 February 2024

The global energy market continues to navigate uncertainties driven by geopolitical conflicts, weather-related disruptions, and shifting economic landscapes. In this overview, we delve into the recent trends in oil, gas, propane, ethane, and naphtha markets for the week of 15 February 2024.

Oil Markets

Geopolitical tensions in the Middle East persist, causing fluctuations in oil futures. Recent conflicts have led to spikes, with the front month NYMEX WTI crude futures rising by 2.4% on 15 February. The economic trajectory for the US and Europe in 2024 is influenced by inflation easing and gradual interest rate reductions, supporting oil demand.

Despite disruptions in Europe’s crude supply, robust oil productions from various countries are expected to contribute to non-OPEC supply growth. Our forecast maintains Brent prices averaging $82 and WTI at $78 for 2024.

Gas Markets

US natural gas prices faced a significant decline on 15 February, reaching the lowest level since June 2020. Mild weather and oversupply conditions have driven this drop, with EIA inventory statistics reflecting weak market conditions.

The question arises: when will the market escape oversupply?

The near-term weather outlook suggests limited upside from demand, keeping the market outlook bearish. International prices, including TTF futures and Asia’s spot LNG prices, may have room to decrease, presenting an opportunity for price-sensitive and emerging markets.

Propane Markets

Propane prices at Mont Belvieu increased in line with rising crude oil prices but are expected to weaken as spring approaches. Benchmark freight rates and smooth Panama Canal flow contribute to a stable propane market. Inventories at Mont Belvieu remain close to the 5-year average.

Ethane Markets

Ethane prices witnessed a decrease due to falling natural gas prices. Challenges in the ethane market, including overcapacity and weak demand for derivatives, are evident.

The Mont Belvieu ethane frac spread narrowed, reflecting market dynamics.

Asian Naphtha Markets

In the Asian naphtha market, prices face challenges amid a reduction in refinery runs in China and recent geopolitical incidents in the Red Sea. The market is delicately navigating supply chain risks and stability concerns.


The global energy market is intricately linked to geopolitical events, weather patterns, and economic factors. Understanding these trends in oil, gas, propane, ethane, and naphtha provides valuable insights for stakeholders navigating this complex landscape.


Adrian Calcaneo
Vice President, Energy and Feedstocks | NGL & Naphtha

Tracy Cui
Associate Director, Energy Insights

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