23 June 2011 23:27 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US ethylene spot prices for July have plummeted by 11% since last week, pressured by weakening demand and a drop in derivative prices, market sources said on Thursday.
Ethylene for July traded at 57.50 cents/lb ($1,268/tonne, €887/tonne) on Thursday, down from deals done at 64.25–65.50 cents/lb in the week ended 17 June.
The outlook for the monomer is weakening because a drop in Asia polyethylene (PE) prices is reducing demand for US polymer exports.
US ethylene output is also expected to increase in July after LyondellBasell restarts its Channelview OP-2 cracker in Texas, which has been off line for nearly two months.
The 873,000 tonne/year cracker was shut down on 27 April for planned maintenance.
Market sources said the unit was expected to resume operations on 18 June, but input from the market this week suggested the restart will take place by the end of the month.
($1 = €0.70)
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