US spot ethylene spikes to 49 cents/lb but no outage heard

13 July 2012 22:46  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US ethylene spot prices rose sharply on Friday, extending gains from the past few days and triggering talk of a potential supply disruption in the industry.

The monomer traded up to 49.00 cents/lb ($1,080/tonne, €886/tonne) for July delivery, rising from a deal done at 44.25 cents/lb early in the week.

Ethylene for July traded at 42.375-42.750 cents/lb in the first week of the month.

While a surge in spot prices is typically an indication of a cracker outage, one source said the increase this week could also be related to strong derivative demand because of re-stocking downstream.

Higher feedstock costs might also have fuelled the rally.

Mont Belvieu ethane prices ended Friday at 33 cent/gal, climbing by nearly 14% from a week earlier, likely as a result of stronger upstream energy values.

NYMEX WTI crude oil futures rose on Friday, tracking a rally in the stock market and extending gains to three consecutive sessions.

For the week, the front-month WTI contract climbed by 3.14% to $87.10/bbl, while natural gas prices gained 3.6%, closing Friday at $2.87/MMBtu.

Ethylene bid/offers for July were last heard at 48-51 cents/lb. August ethylene was bid at 47.50 cents/lb against a 50.50 cent/lb offer.

Ethylene for September/October was bid at 44.50 cents/lb with no offers. December was bid on Friday at 38 cents/lb, also without offers.

($1 = €0.82)

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By: William Lemos
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