14 May 2012 15:47 [Source: ICIS news]
Ethylene margins were assessed at 43.15 cents/lb ($951/tonne, €732/tonne) in the week that ended on 11 May, down from 48.86 cents/lb a week earlier, using ethane as a feedstock.
US margins for both ethane- and naphtha-based ethylene were at their lowest level since January 2012, according to the report.
The drop last week came after a slump in the price of spot ethylene, which traded at 53.50-61.00 cents/lb for May delivery, down from 63.00-63.25 cents/lb a week earlier.
US ethylene prices fell probably as a result of supply pressure after the restart of two US crackers in the first week of May.
But sources also said the drop was part of a correction, resulting from a disconnect in the past two months between the price of the US monomer and the resin market.
May ethylene was offered late on Friday at 56.25 cents/lb against a 53.00 cent/lb bid. No bid/offers for May were heard early on Monday.
Mont Belvieu ethane ended Friday at 46 cents/gal, recovering around 60% of its 12 cent/gal loss from the previous week.
The key US ethylene feedstock on Friday was down by 41% from 78 cents/gal in the first week of January 2012.
($1 = €0.77)
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