30 April 2012 22:00 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US ethylene margins showed hefty gains in April, rising by 10% from March on increased ethylene spot prices and lower production costs, the ICIS margin report showed on Monday.
Ethylene margins for April averaged 56.13 cents/lb ($1,237/tonne, €940/tonne), using ethane as a feedstock, compared with 51.07 cents/lb in March and 31.78 cents/lb in April 2011.
The increase in April came as tight supply pushed ethylene spot prices to a record 76.125 cents/lb during the month, whereas ethane prices fell by 7% on weaker demand resulting from a number of cracker shutdowns in US.
Mont Belvieu ethane prices in April averaged 49.18 cents/gal, down from 52.87 cents/gal in March.
Meanwhile, ethylene spot prices for April averaged 71.59 cents/lb, up by 5% from 68.08 cents/lb in the previous month.
The increase in April puts year-to-date US ethylene margins at an average 48.07 cents/lb, nearly twice the 25.32 cents/lb assessed in January-April 2011.
US ethylene margins in January-April 2012 are also up by 75% compared with an average 27.47 cents/lb for the whole of 2011, the report showed.
($1 = €0.76)
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