US ethylene margins fall 3.2% on cheaper spot material

04 February 2013 16:28  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US spot margins for ethylene fell by 3.2% week on week, tracking a fall in spot prices, the ICIS margin report showed on Monday.

Ethylene spot margins were assessed at 58.10 cents/lb ($1,281/tonne) for the week ended 1 February, down from 60.03 cents/lb a week earlier, using ethane as a feedstock.

The decline in spot margins was mostly driven by a 1.750-3.125 cent/lb fall in spot prices during the week.

The fall in spot prices was largely attributed to BASF Total Petrochemicals beginning the restart process at its 934,000 tonne/year Port Arthur cracker in Texas.

The drop in spot prices outweighed a decline in feedstock ethane costs and an increase in co-product values.

Ethane prices dropped to 10.97 cents/lb during the first week of February, compared with 11.31 cents/lb for the last week of January.

Continuing strong propylene prices helped push ethane cracker co-product prices up to 4.76 cents/lb from 4.59 cents/lb the previous week.

By: John Dietrich

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