US ethylene margins increase 6.8% on higher spot prices

24 June 2013 16:30  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US ethylene margins gained 6.8% week on week for the week ended 21 June, the ICIS margin report showed on Monday.

US ethylene margins for ethane-based spot material moved up to 52.13 cents/lb ($1,149/tonne, €873/tonne), up from 48.83 cents/lb the previous week.

This puts US ethylene margins back above the 50 cent/lb level for the first time since the week ended 17 May, when they were at 52.22 cents/lb.

Most of the gain in ethylene margins was fuelled by an increase in spot prices. US spot prices increased by an average of 3.625 cents/lb during the week, tracking tight supply.

However, the run-up on ethylene spot prices is expected to be short-lived as several crackers began the restart process to close the week ended 21 June.

The cracker restarts boosted demand for ethane, pushing prices up to 10.58 cents/lb from 10.54 cents/lb, lowering ethylene margins slightly.

Additionally, ethane cracker co-product credits fell to 3.83 cents/lb from 4.12 cents/lb, further softening margins.

US ethylene for June was heard bid at 54.0 cents/lb on Monday against offers at 59.5 cents/lb.

($1 = €0.76)

By: John Dietrich

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