US ethylene margins increase 11% on cheaper ethane prices

13 February 2012 17:21  [Source: ICIS news]

An ethylene crackerHOUSTON (ICIS)--US ethylene margins increased by 11% during the previous week as feedstock ethane costs fell to their lowest level since August 2010, the ICIS margins report showed on Monday.

US ethylene margins moved to 50.84 cents/lb ($1,121/tonne, €852/tonne), using ethane as a feedstock, from 45.85 cents/lb for the week ended 3 February.

The jump was mostly attributed to ethane prices falling to an 18-month low.

Mont Belvieu ethane prices are being pushed down by weaker demand as several US crackers are in turnaround.

Also, five US producers have scheduled maintenance for the next few months.

The turnarounds have reduced ethane demand while tightening supply of ethylene, which moved higher on Monday to 66.0–67.5 cents/lb for February spot material.

Spot prices were at 64.0–67.5 cents/lb at the end of 10 February, higher by 1.5–2.0 cents/lb from the week ended 27 January.

Mont Belvieu ethane prices were at 44.25–44.75 cents/gal on Monday.

($1 = €0.76)

By: John Dietrich

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