US spot ethylene hits five-month high on inventory building

19 December 2013 22:28  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US spot ethylene traded at its highest in more than five months on Thursday, tracking pre-buying and higher feedstock costs.

Sources said front-month December ethylene was done twice at 57.75 cents/lb ($1,273/tonne, €929/tonne) on Thursday.

This is the highest front-month ethylene has been traded at on the benchmark Williams System since two deals at 58 cents/lb on 2 July.

A buyer said that prices are moving up because several market players are gearing up for cracker turnaround season at the start of 2014.

“This happens every year,” the buyer said, “even with the threat of ad valorum taxes.”

Additionally, US ethane prices have hit six-month highs on the back of surging natural gas futures, stemming from strong demand for heating and some production issues.

However, higher trades were done during that timeframe on the Louisiana-based Choctaw System.

Sources said front-month material was done well above 60 cents/lb during the second and third quarters because of an imbalance in supply caused by the shutdown of the Evangeline Pipeline.

The run-up in December ethylene prices and the higher ethane costs are expected to lead to a higher settlement for December ethylene contracts.

($1 = €0.73)

By: John Dietrich

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