US ethylene trades at record 75.125 cents/lb on tight supply

04 April 2012 22:52  [Source: ICIS news]

A dollar signHOUSTON (ICIS)--US ethylene for April traded at a record 75.125 cents/lb ($1,656, €1,259/tonne) on Wednesday on tight supply and news of yet another cracker outage in the US Gulf.

The deal on Wednesday is the highest price for an ethylene spot transaction on the ICIS database dating back to 1986.

Ethylene prices had already soared to 75 cents/lb on Friday on news that Williams was shutting down its Geismar cracker in Louisiana for at least two weeks because of a compressor problem.

News on Wednesday that Dow Chemical had a brief shutdown at its Freeport 8 cracker in Texas may have lent further support to the market.

Dow reported flaring from the 1.04m tonne/year unit on Tuesday, citing an ethylene compressor shutdown in a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).

A company spokesperson said the cracker had resumed operations.

Ethylene spot prices may also have gained support from a TCEQ report on Wednesday that Chevron Phillips Chemicals was flaring its Port Arthur cracker in Texas.

The operational status of the unit was unknown. A Chevron Phillips spokesperson declined to comment, citing company policy.

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By: William Lemos
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