US ethylene margins rise slightly, remain near 14-month low

21 October 2013 17:33  [Source: ICIS news]

US ethylene margins rise slightly, remain near 14-month lowHOUSTON (ICIS)--US ethylene margins moved up 0.2% week on week for the week ended 18 October, the ICIS margin report showed on Monday.

Margins for ethane-based spot ethylene rose to 36.65 cents/lb ($808/tonne, €590/tonne), up from 36.57 cents/lb a week ago.

This still keeps margins near a 14-month low of 36.45 cents/lb for the week ended 10 August 2012.

Margins were mostly boosted by a slight rise in ethylene spot prices, which gained an average of 0.25 cents/lb during the week on bargain buying.

However, spot ethylene prices are expected to remain soft on long supply in Texas and softening demand throughout the rest of the fourth quarter.

The margin gains from higher spot prices were almost wiped out by an increase in feedstock ethane.

Ethane costs moved up to 11.25 cents/lb from 11.06 cents/lb week on week, tracking an increase in demand.

Ethane cracker co-product credit values increased slightly week on week, up to 4.08 cents/lb from 4.07 cents/lb, boosting ethylene margins.

US ethylene for October was bid at 44.00 cents/lb on Monday against offer levels of 48.75 cents/lb.

($1 = €0.73)

By: John Dietrich

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