US ethylene margins rise 13% to 6-week high on spot surge

16 July 2012 14:37  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US ethylene spot margins rose by 13% in the second week of July, climbing to a six-week high as a result of a surge in ethylene spot prices, the ICIS margin report showed on Monday.

Ethylene margins were assessed at 36.73 cents/lb ($810/tonne, €664/tonne), using ethane as a feedstock, up from 32.58 cents/lb in the week that ended on 6 July.

Margins rose as ethylene spot prices rose sharply last week, trading in a range of 44.25-49.00 cents/lb for a weekly gain of nearly 10%.

The surge triggered talk of a potential supply disruption in the industry, but one source said the increase last week could also have been related to strong derivative demand because of re-stocking downstream.

Slightly lower feedstock ethane costs also helped fuel margins.

Mont Belvieu ethane prices averaged 30.71 cents/gal last week, down from 30.90 cents/gal in the first week of July.

The product accounts for 60% of the feedstock volumes used to make ethylene in the US.

Ethylene bid/offers for July were last heard on Friday at 48-51 cents/lb. August ethylene was bid at 47.50 cents/lb on Monday against a 50 cent/lb offer.

($1 = €0.82)

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