US June EO contracts move up 0.6 cents/lb on firmer ethylene

03 July 2014 19:26 Source:ICIS News

NEW YORK (ICIS)--US ethylene oxide (EO) contract prices for June were assessed 0.6 cents/lb ($13/tonne) higher from May on the back of a firmer June ethylene contract price, as assessed by ICIS on Thursday.

June EO contract prices moved up to 67.20-76.70 cents/lb free on board (FOB) from 66.60-76.10 cents/lb FOB in May.

The June contract price for US ethylene was fully settled at 47.75 cents/lb delivered (DEL), up 0.75 cents/lb from 47.00 cents/lb DEL in May, ethylene sources confirmed on Thursday.

The majority of EO contracts are formula-based, and price movement comprises 80% of the change in the ethylene price and an additional conversion fee, or adder. For 2014 the adder was said to have rolled over from 2013, market sources said.

EO supply remains tight because of strong demand in all EO derivatives and in downstream ethylene glycol (EG), market source said.

Participants previously cautioned that there is likely not enough EO on the US market to serve downstream markets.

EO is largely used to make EG, which goes into anti-freeze and is used to make polyethylene terephthalate (PET).

The second-largest outlet for EO is in surface active agents, including non-ionic alkylphenol ethoxylates and detergent alcohol ethoxylates.

Other EO derivatives include glycol ethers (used in solvents and fuels), ethanolamines (used in surfactants and personal care products), polyols for polyurethane (PU) systems, polyethylene glycols (used in toothpaste, medicines) and polyalkylene glycols (used in antifoam agents, hydraulic lubricants).

EO producers in the US include BASF, Dow Chemical, Eastman, Formosa Plastics, Huntsman, Indorama Ventures, LyondellBasell and Shell Chemical.

By Feliza Mirasol