HOUSTON (ICIS)--Initial US ethylene contracts for May have settled at an increase of 1.25 cents/lb from April, market sources said on Thursday.
If fully accepted by the market, the settlement would put May contract prices at 33.25 cents/lb ($733/tonne), up from 32.00 cents/lb in April.
The increase was mostly due to higher cash costs and a slight increase in average spot prices.
Cash costs for May rose by about 2.0 cents/lb over April, while the average spot price for May ticked up by less than 0.5 cent/lb.
Front-month ethylene traded in May at 26.5-30.5 cents/lb, wider than trades at 27.5-30.0 in April.
Spot prices in the first half of the month were relatively steady just above or below 30 cents/lb, but began falling in the second half of the month
US ethylene contracts typically settle in the first days of the month for pricing in the previous month.
A full settlement is pending further confirmation from market participants.
Major US ethylene producers include ExxonMobil, INEOS, LyondellBasell and Shell Chemical.
Major US buyers include Occidental Chemical, Total and Westlake Chemical.