02 November 2010 20:36 [Source: ICIS news]
Ethylene for November traded at 44.00 cents/lb ($970/tonne, €698/tonne), rising by 7% from 41.00 cents/lb on Monday.
The sharp increase came as talk circulated in the market that INEOS had experienced an outage at its Chocolate Bayou complex in Texas.
The company has two steam crackers at the site with combined ethylene capacity of 1.8m tonnes/year.
Market participants said both crackers were off line as a result of a lightning strike, following heavy thunderstorms in southeast Texas over the past day.
INEOS does not comment on operations, but the company on Monday reported a disruption and flaring at Chocolate Bayou in a public filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).
US ethylene spot prices had already been trending up on rising ethane prices.
Ethane climbed to 70.00 cents/gal on Tuesday, gaining 27% in the past four weeks.
“It is out of control,” a market participant said.
The sharp uptrend in ethane stems from strong demand for the product as a chemical feedstock.
Ethane accounts for around 60% of the US feedstocks used in ethylene production.
($1 = €0.72)
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