US Oct ethylene contracts expected to fall on lower spot prices

04 November 2013 19:51  [Source: ICIS news]

US Oct ethylene contracts expected to fall on lower spot pricesHOUSTON (ICIS)--US October ethylene contracts appeared set for a fall on the back of the lowest spot prices in more than a year, sources said on Monday.

US ethylene spot prices for October were done at an average of 45-46 cents/lb ($992-1,014/tonne, €734-750/tonne), their lowest in 16 months. This was down from the September average spot price of 53 cents/lb.

Most of the decline in spot prices has come on the benchmark Williams System in Texas, where ethylene is long.

Spot prices in the Louisiana-based Choctaw System were in the low to mid-60s cents/lb level for most of October because of tight supply.

The higher Choctaw prices will factor into contract talks, but spot ethylene was also weakened by soft demand from the polyethylene (PE) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) markets.

Additionally, supply was lengthened by strong operating rates and only one long-term cracker outage in October.

Ethylene cash costs on an ethane basis were higher in October by 0.20 cents/lb, and feedstock costs for propane, naphtha and butane were also higher.

However, these costs were slightly balanced by higher spot prices for propylene and butadiene (BD) during the month.

Major US ethylene producers include Chevron Phillips Chemical, ExxonMobil, INEOS, LyondellBasell and Shell Chemical.

Major buyers include Axiall, Dow Chemical, Occidental Chemical and Total.

($1 = €0.74)

By: John Dietrich

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