The hypothetical NGL barrel claimed another high for the year, but a spike in natural gas spot prices combined with little movement for NGL to cut into margins last week. In the case of ethane, the cuts were deep.
The Mont Belvieu, Texas, barrel came within 1 cent of $33, its highest level in three years. At Conway, Kan., the barrel’s high for 2017 was also the fifth week in the last eight above $30 and the highest price since Thanksgiving week 2014.
While ethane prices have struggled in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey’s impact on Gulf Coast ethylene facilities, propane, butane and isobutane have ducked and weaved around year-highs in recent weeks. C5+, however, has been on a steady upward march since the Fourth of July.