04 April 2011 21:54 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US ethylene contracts for March were fully settled at 53.75 cents/lb ($1,185/tonne, €830/tonne) on Monday, rising nearly 10% from February on surging spot prices and higher production costs.
The 4.75 cent/lb jump was the second contract increase in as many months.
February ethylene settled at 49 cents/lb, rising by 3.75 cents/lb from January.
The March settlement followed a 10% rise in ethane prices last month, and a nearly 16% surge in ethylene spot prices.
Market participants also pointed to continued firm demand for ethylene in March, citing strong derivative exports as a factor pushing monomer prices up.
Also lending support for ethylene were constrained supply, cracker turnarounds and lingering feedstock restrictions resulting from the February fire at the Mont Belvieu Enterprise Products facility in Texas.
Major US ethylene producers include Chevron Phillips Chemical, ExxonMobil, INEOS, LyondellBasell and Shell Chemicals.
Buyers include Dow Chemical, Georgia Gulf, Occidental Chemical (OxyChem) and Total.
($1 = €0.70)
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