Americas top stories - weekly summary

Source: ICIS News

2014/03/03

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Here are some of the top stories from ICIS Americas for the week ended 28 February 2014.

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US March benzene falls 14 cents/gal on late drop in spot marketThe March US benzene contract settled at $4.95/gal ($1,481/tonne). The March settlement was down by 14 cents/gal from the February contract price of $5.09/gal FOB, on the back of weaker spot prices late this week.

House bill to reform TSCA seen as more favourable to industryThe chemicals control bill aired in the US House of Representatives appears more favourable to industry than a parallel measure pending in the Senate.

US March BD contracts increase 13% on back of tight supplyUS March butadiene (BD) contracts settled 13% higher, tracking tight supply and steady demand.

US spot ethylene steady on declining cash costs, tighter supplyUS spot ethylene prices were assessed narrower as weaker cash costs were balanced by tightening supply.

US Pacific Ethanol restarting idled California facilityStrong fundamentals are fuelling Pacific Ethanol’s restart of its mothballed ethanol plant in Madera, California, with production set to begin in the second quarter of this year.

US opens door to Atlantic offshore oil and gas developmentThe US issued rules for seismic surveys in outer continental shelf (OCS) regions of the nation’s Atlantic Coast, opening the door for potential oil and natural gas exploration in OCS regions thought to be rich in energy reserves.

Chem CEOs optimistic about economy, worried about costs − PwCThe heads of chemical companies are optimistic about the prospects of economic growth, but they are worried about energy costs, feedstock prices and skilled-labour shortages.

US spot propane prices fall to four-and-a-half month lowUS spot propane prices at the Mont Belvieu hub in Texas fell to their lowest levels since the first week of October 2013.

US Feb PE contracts rise 4 cents/lb on tight supplyFebruary contracts in the US polyethylene (PE) market rose by 4 cents/lb ($88/tonne), based on tight supply caused by some production problems as well as logistical and delivery issues.

US weekly chem rail traffic falls 0.5%, Canada loadings fall 10.7%The US, Canada and Mexico all registered year-over-declines in chemical railcar shipments in the week ended 22 February.