US ethylene margins jump 5.7% on increase in spot values

20 May 2013 16:52  [Source: ICIS news]

US ethylene margins jump 5.7% on increase in spot valuesHOUSTON (ICIS)—US ethylene margins jumped by 5.7% week on week for the week ended 17 May, the ICIS margin report showed on Monday.

US ethylene margins for ethane-based material were assessed at 52.22 cents/lb ($1,151/tonne, €898/tonne), up from the previous week’s levels of 49.41 cents/lb.

The jump restored ethylene margins above the 50 cent/lb level, where they had been for all of 2013 save for the past two weeks.

An increase in spot ethylene prices was the main impetus for the increase in margins.

US spot ethylene prices gained an average of 2.4 cents/lb during the week, as several cracker outages tightened supply and led to speculation that higher prices were around the corner.

By the end of the week, however, softer demand had pushed spot prices back to levels seen the week ended 10 May.

Also boosting ethylene margins was a drop in feedstock ethane, which fell to 12.09 cents/lb for the week ended 17 May from 12.37 cents/lb a week ago.

Ethane cracker co-product credits also moved higher week on week, up to 4.36 cents/lb from 4.29 cents/lb.

US ethylene for May was heard bid at 56.0 cents/lb on Monday against offers at 60.5 cents/lb.

($1 = €0.78)

By: John Dietrich

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