01 April 2012 18:47 [Source: ICIS news]
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With ethylene values in the high 60s cents/lb and the spot price spike seen on Friday, EG producers’ margins remain slim, market players said on the sidelines of the International Petrochemical Conference (IPC).
“Ethylene at 75 cents/lb is not sustainable,” an EG market source said. “Even ethylene at 68 cents/lb is ridiculous.”
The surge came amid talk that Williams and ExxonMobil were having a disruption at their crackers in
Williams has a 612,000 tonne/year cracker in Geismar, while ExxonMobil has a 1m tonne/year unit in
A Williams spokesperson could not immediately confirm a shutdown, while a recording on ExxonMobil's hotline in
The recording said the unit was taken off line on 29 March. The message said that flaring was expected when the unit restarted in a few weeks.
If implemented, the production slowdown is expected to last through June when ethylene turnarounds are completed and which is when downstream polyester fibre demand should be back on track, buyers said.
Up to 12% of USG cracker capacity will be down in the second quarter because of spring maintenance turnarounds, according to sources.
Industrial-grade ethylene glycol (EGI) was assessed at 52-55 cents/lb for March contract pricing, according to ICIS.
Major EG producers in the
Hosted by the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), the IPC continues through Tuesday.
($1 = €0.75)
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