US ethylene margins drop 8% on lower spot prices

08 May 2012 16:11  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US ethylene margins fell by 8% in the first week of May after a drop in ethylene spot prices outweighed a reduction in feedstock ethane costs, the ICIS margin report showed on Tuesday.

Ethylene margins were assessed at 48.86 cents/lb ($1,077/tonne, €829/tonne) in the week that ended on 4 May, down from 53.10 cents/lb a week earlier, using ethane as a feedstock.

The drop followed a reduction in the price of spot ethylene, which last week traded at 63.00-63.25 cents/lb for May delivery, down from 66.00-68.50 cents/lb a week earlier.

Ethylene prices fell on pressure from lower ethane prices and increasing monomer supply, as two US crackers resumed production last week after planned turnarounds.

US ethylene prices continued to fall this week, as material for May delivery was transacted on Monday at 61 cents/lb.

May ethylene was offered on Tuesday at 61.50 cents/lb with no bids. Ethylene for June traded at 57 cents/lb.

Mont Belvieu ethane traded at 40-41 cents/gal, slightly up from Friday but down from 48.75 cents/gal a week earlier, as a result of supply pressure in recent days.

($1 = €0.77)

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By: William Lemos
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