30 March 2010 18:54 [Source: ICIS news]
SAN ANTONIO, Texas (ICIS news)--US ethylene is headed for what could be a major drop in the coming months, but a seller on Tuesday seemed unconcerned, saying producers are likely to keep making money in a downward market.
“Ethylene could drop by 20 cents/lb ($440/tonne, €326/tonne) and [margins] will still be good,” the source said on the sidelines of the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association (NPRA) meeting in ?xml:namespace>
Feedstock ethane prices are also weakening, keeping ethylene margins at acceptable levels, the source said.
Ethane prices were at 56 cents/gal on Friday, down from 73 cents/gal in the first week of March, according to ICIS pricing.
US ethylene spot prices spiked in the first quarter, lifted by tight supply caused by a series of cracker outages in the US in the first two months of the year.
The surge pushed spot prices to 70.00 cents/lb in early March, boosting US margins to record levels.
The seller did not project a timetable for the expected drop, but the source indicated a correction is inevitable.
“It will come back to whatever normal is supposed to be,” the seller said.
The NPRA’s International Petrochemical Conference (IPC) runs through Tuesday.
($1 = €0.74)
For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.
Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.
|ICIS news FREE TRIAL|
|Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index|