US ethylene margins drop 7.4% on lower spot values

02 April 2013 17:09  [Source: ICIS news]

US ethylene margins drop 7.4% on lower spot valuesHOUSTON (ICIS)--US ethylene margins fell by 7.4% for the week ended 29 March because of weaker spot prices, the ICIS margin report showed on Tuesday.

US spot ethylene margins for material using ethane as a feedstock fell to 52.40 cents/lb ($1,155/tonne, €901/tonne) from 56.59 cents/lb a week ago.

Despite the drop, first-quarter average ethylene margins were at their highest ever, according to the margin report.

The week-on-week fall came on a downturn in spot prices, which shed 3.25-3.75 cents/lb on thin trading and improved supply.

Additionally, ethane costs increased to 13.24 cents/lb from 12.49 cents/lb, mostly on steady cracker operating rates and higher natural gas values.

The drop in margins was slightly slowed by an increase in cracker co-product values, which moved higher to 4.77 cents/lb from 4.70 cents/lb a week earlier.

US ethylene spot price bid/offer levels for April material started Tuesday at 59-63 cents/lb.

($1 = €0.78)

By: John Dietrich

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