US ethane rises 19% on delayed turnaround at Dow cracker - sources

15 September 2011 21:49  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US ethane prices have risen by 19% after Dow Chemical was caught short on ethane – after pushing back its Louisiana cracker turnaround, market sources said on Thursday.

Ethane prices have surged since 9 September, to 85 cents/gal on Thursday from a range of 71-72 cents/gal.

On 9 September, market sources told ICIS that Dow Chemical pushed back the turnaround of its St Charles cracker to the first half of 2013. Before, the company was expected to shut down the 610,000 tonne/year cracker on 10 October for 30 days.

A trader suspected that Dow had purchased enough ethane to supply its cracker until 10 October. With a delay in maintenance, Dow has had to purchase more ethane to keep its cracker running.

Dow’s market presence has contributed to other parties bidding the price of ethane higher, traders said.

Dow did not immediately address questions about the turnaround delay or the ethane price increase.

By: Sheena Martin
+1 713 525 2653

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