US May daily ethylene production falls 8.1% on shutdowns

27 June 2013 15:55  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)—US daily ethylene production in May was 8.1% lower from April, according to data from the Hodson Report, released on Thursday consulting firm Jacobs Consultancy.

US May daily ethylene production fell to 134.14m lb/day (60,846 tonnes/day) from 146.03m lb/day.

The decline in daily production was mostly the result of lower operating rates stemming from several cracker shutdowns.

US May cracker operating rates were 82.9%, down from April’s rate of 90.3%.

The month experienced three planned cracker outages and seven unplanned outages, according to the report.

Total ethylene production in May was 4.158bn lb, down by 5.1% from April’s 4.381bn lb.

Ethane usage in crackers moved up slightly in May, to 57.3% of production from 57.0% of production, as prices fell owing to weaker demand from the cracker shutdowns.

Propane usage in May fell to 29.8% from 30.8% while naphtha usage increased to 7.1% from 6.8%.

Despite the tighter supply, US average spot prices for ethylene declined by 2-3 cents/lb ($44-66/tonne, €34-51/tonne) during the month, owing to weak demand and cheaper feedstock costs.

($1 = €0.77)

By: John Dietrich

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