US ethylene margins drop 13% on higher feedstock prices

14 February 2011 21:39  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US ethylene margins were down in the second week of February, pressured mostly by an increase in feedstock prices, the ICIS margin report showed on Monday.

Using ethane as a feedstock, ethylene spot margins were at 21.28 cents/lb ($469/tonne, €347/tonne) in the week ended 11 February, down by 13% from 24.58 cents/lb in the week ended 4 February.

The drop stemmed from a surge in ethane values last week, following a fire at Enterprise Products’ Mont Belvieu natural gas liquids (NGL) complex in Texas on 8 February.

Mont Belvieu ethane prices on Friday were at 65 cents/gal, up from 52 cents/gal a week earlier.

Ethylene margins also fell because of a small drop in average spot prices for the monomer.

February ethylene traded last week at 44.25-48.50 cents/lb, down on average by 0.5% from 46.00-47.25 cents/lb the previous week.

Ethylene bid/offers for February were at 48.375-50.000 cents/lb on Monday.

Meanwhile, ethane prices shot up to 72.50 cents/gal on continued concerns over supply shortages caused by the fire at Enterprise.

($1 = €0.74)

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By: William Lemos
+1 713 525 2653

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