US spot ethylene plummets 10% amid cracker restart talks

10 April 2012 23:08  [Source: ICIS news]

Ethylene prices plummetHOUSTON (ICIS)--US ethylene prices plummeted by 10% on Tuesday, pressured by the restart of one and possibly two US crackers, market sources said.

Ethylene for April traded as low as 68 cents/lb ($1,499/tonne, €1,139/tonne) for delivery on the Williams system, down from a deal done at a record 75.125 cents/lb last week.

Market sources said the slump came as Williams restarted its Geismar cracker in Louisiana over the weekend, following an unplanned outage at the end of March.

A Williams spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for confirmation.

Talk was also heard that ExxonMobil was restarting its Baytown 1 cracker in Texas.

The 1m tonne/year cracker has been off line since 1 February for a two-month turnaround.

An ExxonMobil spokesperson said the unit remained in maintenance activity on Tuesday.

The spokesperson declined to comment on a timeframe for the restart.

($1 = €0.76)

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By: William Lemos
+1 713 525 2653



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