HOUSTON (ICIS)--US spot ethylene prices rose this week amid ongoing outages as some crackers are taking longer than expected to restart.
ICIS assessed spot ethylene on Friday at 29.375-29.500 cents/lb ($648-650/tonne), compared to 27.750-28.875 cents/lb in the previous week.
Spot prices remain significantly lower than a month ago after dropping through the second half of February as supply improved after the completion of two turnarounds. However, spot prices began rebounding in mid-March as some unplanned outages offset supply recovery.
While one US Gulf crackers, which went offline in mid-March was restarted in early April, another remains offline, according to market sources. Additionally, another cracker is expected to begin a turnaround later this month.
Market sources had expected both unplanned outages to be resolved in early April.
However, supply is expected to improve overall as expanded and new crackers come online.