US ethylene margins jump 8% on higher spot prices

14 January 2013 20:31  [Source: ICIS news]

US ethylene margins jump 8% on higher spot pricesHOUSTON (ICIS)--US ethylene margins rose by nearly 8% in the second week of January, lifted by a sharp increase in ethylene spot prices, the ICIS margin report showed on Monday.

Ethylene margins were assessed at 57.14 cents/lb ($1,260/tonne, €945/tonne) last week, up from 52.96 cents/lb a week earlier, using ethane as a feedstock.

Ethane prices ended the week slightly weaker, losing 1 cent/gal from a week earlier for a closing price of 22 cents/gal on Friday.

Meanwhile, spot ethylene traded in a range of 61.00-65.00 cents/lb in the week that ended on 11 January, rising by 5.5% from deals done at 59.500-59.875  cents/lb a week earlier.

US ethylene spot prices rose amid the start of planned maintenance at two crackers and talk of outages at possibly two other units.

The increase pushed US ethylene margins to their highest level since May 2012, the report showed.

Ethylene for January delivery traded at 64.25-65.00 cents/lb on Monday, holding onto its gains from the previous week, whereas ethane prices were assessed slightly higher at 22.25 cents/gal.

US ethylene margins averaged 43.95 cents/lb in 2012, as assessed by ICIS, rising by 60% from 27.47 cents/lb in the previous year.

($1 = €0.75)

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By: William Lemos
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