US spot ethylene soars 27% in 2 days on cracker outages

03 November 2010 21:54  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US ethylene spot prices continued to post large gains on Wednesday, surging 27% in two days on news of cracker outages in Texas and rising ethane prices.

Ethylene for November traded as high as 52.00 cents/lb ($1,146/tonne, €814/tonne) earlier in the day, rising from a deal done at 41.00 cents/lb on Monday.

The spike followed news that INEOS had experienced a major outage at its Chocolate Bayou complex in Texas as a result of a lightning strike Monday afternoon.

The company has two steam crackers at the site with combined ethylene capacity of 1.8m tonnes/year.

Market participants said both units were down and a restart could take as long as two weeks.

INEOS does not comment on its operations, according to a spokesperson.

Meanwhile, ethane prices were heard as high as 71.25 cents/gal on Wednesday, rising by 8% from 66.00 cents/gal on Friday.

The uptrend stems from continued strong demand for the product, which accounts for around 60% of the US feedstocks used in ethylene production.

($1 = €0.71)

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By: William Lemos
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