22 August 2011 16:03 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US ethylene margins fell slightly in the third week of August, after an increase in feedstock prices outweighed new gains in ethylene spot prices, the ICIS margin report showed on Monday.
Ethylene margins were at 33.36 cents/lb ($735/tonne, €514/tonne) for the week ended 19 August, down by 0.7% from a week earlier using ethane as a feedstock.
The small drop, which snapped a six-week uptrend in US margins, resulted from gains in ethane prices.
Mont Belvieu ethane averaged 71.338 cents/gal last week, up by 0.8% from 70.788 cents/gal a week earlier.
Ethane accounts for around 60% of the feedstocks used for US ethylene production.
US ethylene spot prices inched up in the third week of August, despite continued losses in the upstream energy complex.
Ethylene for August traded at 61.750–62.750 cents/lb, an average 0.3% increase from deals done at 61.000–63.125 cents/lb a week earlier.
October ethylene traded on Friday at 60.75 cents/lb, while ethylene for September was heard bid at 62.00 cents/lb late in the day.
The bid for September, which was up from a previous 61.75 cent/lb deal for August, points to sentiment that upcoming cracker turnarounds could tighten the US market during the next two months.
Two US olefins plants have scheduled maintenance in September and another two units are scheduled to go down in October.
($1 = €0.70)
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