US spot ethane prices fall to four-month low

06 June 2013 22:25  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US ethane spot prices dropped to a four-month low on Thursday, as weak natural gas futures and long supply forced prices down.

Ethane was assessed by ICIS at 25.75 cents/gal (€0.1957/gal), the lowest price since mid-February.

Natural gas futures plummeted on Thursday, losing 17.4 cents to settle at $3.827/MMBtu, as inventory levels were much higher than expected.

Sources said weak natural gas futures and tepid demand pushed ethane below its fuel value, meaning it is cheaper to keep it in the natural gas stream than separate it and sell it as a petrochemical feedstock.

Even the restart of three crackers, two from Chevron Phillips Chemical (CP Chem) and one from ExxonMobil, could not keep prices from falling.

CP Chem and Dow Chemical both still have down crackers.

($1 = €0.76)

By: Bobbie Clark
+1 713 525 2653

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