US ethylene margins down 0.8% on lower prices

12 March 2012 19:42  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US ethylene spot margins fell by 0.8% last week, pressured by a drop in spot prices and an increase in feedstock ethane prices, the ICIS margin report showed on Monday.

Ethylene margins for ethane feed were assessed at 50.11 cents/lb ($1,105/tonne, €840/tonne) in the week ended 9 March, down from 50.53 cents/lb a week earlier.

The small drop followed a 0.4% reduction in the price of spot ethylene, which traded last week at an average of 67.50 cents/lb, down from 67.75 cents/lb a week earlier.

The softening in ethylene was accompanied by an increase in the price of ethane, which last week climbed to its highest level for the past month, following a spike in propane prices.

The feedstock ended Friday at 58 cents/gal, up from 52 cents/gal a week earlier.

Despite the increase, weak demand for ethane is likely to erode support for the product, sources said, also predicting that high inventory levels and warm weather will eventually push propane prices down.

Mont Belvieu ethane prices were assessed lower on Monday at 56.25-57.75 cents/gal.

US ethylene for March was bid down at 63.50 cents/lb against a 66.00 cent/lb offer. No fresh deals were heard.

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($1 = €0.76)

By: William Lemos
+1 713 525 2653

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