US June ethylene contracts settle up amid buoyant demand

Author: Michael Sims

2020/07/01

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US June ethylene contracts settled for the majority of participants at an increase of 0.5 cent/lb on higher spot prices and cash costs as demand rebounded.

The settlement puts June contracts at 24.5 cents/lb ($540/tonne), up from 24.0 cents/lb in May.

Average spot prices increased by about 1 cent/lb amid higher cash costs and buoyant demand.

Front-month ethylene traded in June at 11.750-13.500 cents/lb, up from 10.125-12.750 in May.

Ethylene export and polyethylene (PE) demand have bounced back since mid-March, when there were widespread shutdowns across the US economy.

Meanwhile, average cash costs rose slightly month on month.

Feedstocks ethane, propane and butane prices rose despite a recent ethane price correction on growing sentiment that production will soon increase.

June contracts for co-products propylene and benzene rose, but butadiene (BD) remains weak.

Ethylene is a key petrochemical feedstock, used to make polyethylene (PE), ethylene glycol (EG) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) among other products.

Major US ethylene producers include Chevron Phillips Chemical, Dow, ExxonMobil, INEOS Olefins & Polymers, LyondellBasell and Shell Chemical.

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