US ethylene spot prices at lowest level since late 2012

27 September 2013 22:07  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US spot ethylene prices fell by 2.7% week on week based on a late trade on Friday, hitting their lowest level since late 2012.

US front-month ethylene traded at 51.00 cents/lb ($1,124/tonne, €832/tonne) on Friday, its lowest since two trades at 50.75 cents/lb in early December 2012.

This put the weekly range at 51.000-52.125 cents/lb, its lowest since the final week of November 2012, when the average price was 51.060 cents/lb.

Most of the decline has been fuelled by weak demand and long supply, sources said.

The weak demand has stemmed from several plant shutdowns in the downstream polyethylene (PE) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) markets.

The long supply has mostly been a function of only one major cracker being down for an extended period of time in September.

Additionally, ethylene spot prices have not been pushed up by feedstock costs, which peaked in late August and early September on global energy futures.

Buyers and traders said it remains unclear how low the floor for ethylene can get, but said prices could continue to fall on year-end inventory measures and seasonal soft demand.

($1 = €0.74)

By: John Dietrich

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