US ethylene margins rise 18% in August as spot price surges

04 September 2012 16:59  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US ethylene margins rose by 18% in August to their highest level in three months as a result of a surge in spot prices last month, the ICIS margin report showed on Tuesday.

Ethylene margins were assessed at 41.82 cents/lb ($922/tonne, €728/tonne) for August, using ethane as a feedstock, up from 35.42 cents/lb in July.

The increase, which put US margins at their highest level since 42.21 cents/lb in May, came after a 14% jump in the price of spot ethylene.

Ethylene prices for August averaged 53.18 cents/lb, rising from 46.72 cents/lb in July, as outages and reduced operations at some US crackers impacted monomer production in the past few weeks.

At least three US crackers were affected by Hurricane Isaac, which last week made landfall in Louisiana and caused power outages and flooding in parts of the state.

Two of those crackers were still off line on Friday.

Ethylene production costs rose slightly in August on higher ethane prices.

Mont Belvieu ethane prices averaged 35.403 cents/gal last month, up from 34.313 cents/gal in July.

($1 = €0.79)

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By: William Lemos
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