07 May 2013 17:29 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US spot ethylene margins for the week ended 3 May plunged to their lowest level of the year, the ICIS margin report showed on Tuesday.
US ethylene margins for ethane-based material fell to 44.70 cents/lb ($985/tonne, €749/tonne) for the week ended 3 May.
This is the lowest margins have been since mid-December 2012, and are down by 11% from margins the previous week at 50.45 cents/lb.
The decline was mostly caused by a steep fall in ethylene spot prices, which shed 5.250-5.875 cents/lb week on week.
The drop in spot prices came as demand has been weaker than expected from the plastics markets and supply is balanced despite several cracker shutdowns.
Margins were also pushed lower by higher feedstock ethane costs, which moved up to 12.88 cents/lb from 12.71 cents/lb week on week.
Ethane cracker co-product values also declined, down to 4.33 cents/lb from 4.35 cents/lb a week earlier.
US ethylene for May was heard bid on Tuesday at 55 cents/lb against offers at 58 cents/lb.
($1 = €0.76)
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