US April ethylene contracts drop nearly 1% to 55.25 cts/lb

01 May 2012 22:06  [Source: ICIS news]

Ethylene prices plummetHOUSTON (ICIS)--US ethylene contracts for April settled at 55.25 cents/lb ($1,218/tonne, €926/tonne), dropping by 0.50 cent/lb from March, market sources said on Tuesday.

US ethylene contracts usually settle at the beginning of the month for the previous month.

The reduction from March came as production costs fell after a 7% drop in ethane prices.

Mont Belvieu ethane prices in April averaged 49.18 cents/gal, down from 52.87 cents/gal in March.

Ethane is a key US feedstock for ethylene production, accounting in March for 62% of the feed volumes used to make the monomer, according to an industry survey.

The ethylene contract settlement for April is in sharp contrast with the price of spot ethylene, which surged to a record 76.125 cents/lb last month on tight supply amid a busy cracker turnaround season in the US.

Ethylene spot prices have softened in recent weeks, but material for May delivery is still carrying a premium of more than 10 cents/lb compared with the April contract.

May ethylene was last heard traded on Friday at 66 cents/lb.

Ethylene for May was bid at 60 cents/lb on Tuesday with no offers, while June was offered at 64.50 cents/lb against a 58 cent/lb bid.

($1 = €0.76)

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For more on ethylene visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: Brian Ford
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