US ethylene margins hit 14-month low on weaker spot prices

07 October 2013 17:53  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US ethylene margins hit their lowest level in 14 months as spot prices tumbled, the ICIS margin report showed on Monday.

US ethylene margins for ethane-based spot material were assessed at 40.35 cents/lb ($890/tonne, €659/tonne) for the week ended 4 October.

This was a decline of 8.6% week on week from 44.16 cents/lb for the week ended 27 September.

US ethylene margins have not been this low since they were assessed at 36.45 cents/lb for the week ended 10 August 2012.

Year on year, ethylene margins are 15% lower from 47.39 cents/lb for the week ended 5 October 2012.

The decline in margins has mostly been the result of weaker spot prices, which hit a 15-month low with a trade at 45.75 cents/lb on 4 October.

Ethylene spot prices are dropping because of long supply in Texas due to difficulty moving material into Louisiana while the Evangeline pipeline remains down.

Ethylene margins were also weakened by a rise in feedstock ethane, which moved up to 10.99 cents/lb from 10.60 cents/lb week on week.

Ethane cracker co-product credits climbed slightly week on week, up to 4.09 cents/lb from 4.07 cents/lb, giving margins a slight boost.

($1 = €0.74)

By: John Dietrich

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