HOUSTON (ICIS)--US ethylene margins climbed 3.1% week on week on a rebound in spot prices, the ICIS margin report showed on Monday.
US ethylene margins for ethane-based spot material for the week ended 6 December moved to 47.40 cents/lb ($1,045/tonne, €763/tonne), up from 45.98 cents/lb the previous week.
The move came as spot ethylene prices jumped by 1.5 cents/lb during the week, entirely on the high side of the range.
Sources said it was unclear why spot prices moved higher, with some speculating that the return of the Evangeline Pipeline in late-December will enable more buyers to move into the benchmark Williams System.
However, sources said that ethylene demand is seasonally soft and supply remains balanced.
Ethylene margins were slightly weakened by higher feedstock ethane costs, which moved to 11.55 cents/lb from 11.47 cents/lb.
Ethane cracker co-product credits moved up slightly, to 4.21 cents/lb from 4.20 cents/lb.
US ethylene for December was heard bid at 55.25 cents/lb on Monday against no fresh offers.
($1 = €0.73)