US ethylene margins slide 1.5% on softer spot prices

06 August 2012 21:32  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US ethylene margins fell by 1.5% in the first week of August, pressured by lower ethylene spot prices, the ICIS margin report showed on Monday.

Ethylene margins were assessed at 36.29 cents/lb ($800/tonne, €648/tonne), using ethane as a feedstock, down from 36.84 cents/lb in the week that ended on 27 July.

The drop resulted from a softening in the price of spot ethylene, which last week traded at 48.000-48.250 cents/lb for August delivery, down from July deals done at 48.750-49.375 cents/lb a week earlier.

The 2% average reduction in spot prices outweighed a 5% drop in the price of ethane, the main feedstock used for ethylene production in the US.

Mont Belvieu ethane ended Friday at 36 cents/gal, down from 38 cents/gal in the previous week.

Ethane prices climbed back to 38 cents/gal on Monday, lifted by higher crude oil futures.

Meanwhile, ethylene for August was bid at 48.25 cents/lb against offers at 50 cents/lb. September ethylene was bid at 48 cents/lb with no offers.

($1 = €0.81)

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By: William Lemos
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