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Crude oil prices continued to slide last week, but the trend did not greatly affect petrochemical prices other than feedstocks. U.S. Gulf Coast feedstock prices were lower across the board, but European naphtha prices held steady.
Olefins prices inched higher in Europe, but were mostly flat in North America. Ethylene went up 1 cts/lb, but some market watchers say that increase reflected cautionary buying in advance of the Atlantic hurricanes. Proplyene softened as Enterprise Products Partners (Houston) brought its fourth [C.sub.3] upgrader tower onstream at Mont Belvieu, TX. Ethylene and propylene rose 10 [euro]/m.t. in Europe. The propylene increase was supported by a nomination of a 40 [euro]/m.t. increase for September.
Most aromatics retreated, but spot benzene was off by a nickel on the U.S. Gulf and rose $10/m.t. in northwest Europe. Toluene plunged half a dollar on the Gulf Coast and $40/m.t. in Europe, due to lower …