Average 2013 Europe contract cracker margins set to be at 3-year low

23 December 2013 16:45  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Average European contract cracker margins for 2013 look set to be at their lowest since 2010, according to ICIS margin analysis on Monday.

The average contract cracker margin based on naphtha feedstock for 2010 was assessed at €354/tonne ($485/tonne) and this compares with the average margin for 2013 up to 20 December at €415/tonne. The margin average for 2012 was €423/tonne.

Current contract margins have fallen €45/tonne on the back of a rise in feedstock costs. In the week ending 20 December, naphtha costs were up by 2.3% because naphtha prices increased by $19/tonne and the dollar strengthened by 0.3%.

Co-product credits edged up by 0.5% to limit the margin drop.

The spot margin based on naphtha fell slightly because of the firmer feedstock but a 4.5% rise in euro-denominated ethylene spot prices cushioned the fall. Co-product credits were up by 0.7%.

Contract cracker margins based on LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) strengthened by €15/tonne as LPG costs slipped by 0.7%.

In contrast to the naphtha margin, the average annual LPG margin looks set to end 2013 at its highest level since 2008.

LPG vs Naphtha Feed 20 Dec

Contract v Spot (Naphtha) 20 Dec

($1 = €0.73)

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By: Nel Weddle
+44 20 8652 3214



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