The winter storm that tore into the Northeast also jolted natural gas prices across the continent and narrowed margins across the NGL spectrum.

Ethane recouped last week’s dip at Mont Belvieu, Texas, returning to more than 23 cents per gallon (gal) while holding steady at Conway, Kan. En*Vantage expects ethane prices to stabilize in coming weeks assuming no unexpected ethylene plant outages. This forecast derives from:

  • Major first-quarter ethylene plant turnarounds are complete;
  • Exports are expected to increase at Enterprise Products Partners’ Morgan’s Point, Texas, terminal; and
  • With new ethylene capacity ready to ramp up, cracking demand should increase by 150,000bbl/d by the second quarter.