22 July 2013 17:22 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US ethylene margins fell by 4.5% week on week for the week ended 19 July, the ICIS margin report showed on Monday.
US ethylene margins for ethane-based spot material fell to 46.02 cents/lb ($1,015/tonne, €771/tonne), compared with 48.18 cents/lb a week ago.
Margins fell mostly on the back of a decline in US spot prices, which are falling because of an increase in supply and steady-to-softer demand.
Sources said that the restart of several crackers in June has allowed inventories to be restored and lengthened the market.
Demand has been softer than expected because of a weak construction market and mixed economic conditions.
US spot prices fell by 1.250-2.625 cents/lb for the week ended 19 July and are down by 5.250-6.500 cents/lb in the past four weeks.
The increase in cracker activity has also boosted ethane prices, which rose to 10.86 cents/lb from 10.65 cents/lb week on week, further eroding ethylene margins.
Cracker co-product credits softened slightly, down to 3.88 cents/lb from 3.89 cents/lb.
US ethylene for July was heard bid at 55 cents/lb on Monday against no fresh offers.
($1 = €0.76)
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