US ethylene spot prices spike on tight supply

01 April 2010 22:51  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--US ethylene spot prices surged again this week, lifted by tight supply and expected maintenance at two US crackers, market sources said on Thursday.

Ethylene for April traded at 70.00 ($1,543/tonne or €1,142/tonne) and 73.00 cents/lb on Thursday, rising by about 10 cents/lb from deals done at 61.00-63.00 cents/lb in the week ended 26 March.

Tight supply and upcoming maintenance at Dow Chemical’s Plaquemine 2 cracker in Louisiana were cited as some of the driving factors behind the surge.

The unit is scheduled to be shut down this week for a 50-day turnaround.

INEOS was also heard to be planning a turnaround at one of its US crackers.

The company has two units in Chocolate Bayou, Texas, with around 1.8m tonnes/year of combined ethylene capacity.

An INEOS spokesperson declined to comment, citing company policy.

The jump beyond 70.00 cents/lb puts ethylene back at levels from early March, when spot prices soared on the back of tight supply caused by unplanned outages in the first two months of the year.

US ethylene ended December trading at 36.00-37.00 cents/lb.

($1 = €0.74)

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By: William Lemos
+1 713 525 2653



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