US spot ethylene sheds 8% on softer crude, ethane prices

30 May 2012 22:14  [Source: ICIS news]

An ethane crackerHOUSTON (ICIS)--US spot ethylene traded sharply lower on Wednesday along with a drop in energy values and feedstock ethane prices.

Ethylene for June delivery traded down to 47.50 cents/lb ($1,047/tonne, €838/tonne), losing nearly 8% from a deal done at 51.50 cents/lb on Tuesday.

The drop came as feedstock ethane prices fell 13% on Wednesday, while crude oil futures dropped to their lowest level in about three months.

The front-month West Texas Intermediate (WTI) contract settled at $87.82/bbl, shedding $2.94/bbl from Tuesday, as the US dollar gained strength against the euro on a new wave of jitters about the debt crisis in Europe.

The Brent contract for July shed $3.21/lb for a close of $103.47/bbl.

The sell-off was "brutal", a market source said, referring to ethane, the key US feedstock for ethylene, which traded down to 33.50 cents/gal after closing at 38 cents/gal the previous day.

Ethane bid/offers ended on Wednesday at 33.50-37.00 cents/gal.

Meanwhile, ethylene for June delivery was last heard offered at 47.50 cents/lb with no bids.

($1 = €0.80)

For more on ethylene visit ICIS chemical intelligence
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By: William Lemos
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