US ethylene spot prices spike on talk of cracker shutdowns

30 March 2012 18:10  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US ethylene for April traded sharply higher on Friday amid talk of outages at two crackers.

April ethylene traded at 75.00 cents/lb ($1,654/tonne, €1,241/tonne), up from a deal done at 69.50 cents/lb the previous day.

The surge came amid talk that Williams and ExxonMobil were having a disruption at their crackers in Louisiana.

Williams has a 612,000 tonne/year cracker in Geismar, while ExxonMobil has a 1m tonne/year unit in Baton Rouge.

A Williams spokesperson could not immediately confirm a shutdown, while a recording on ExxonMobil's hotline in Baton Rouge referred to a "planned unit shutdown" for routine maintenance.

The recording said the unit was taken off line on 29 March. The message said flaring was expected when the unit restarted in a few weeks.

An ExxonMobil spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.

($1 = €0.75)

By: William Lemos
+1 713 525 2653

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