Margins shrink at US steam crackers as spot ethylene dips and ethane inch higher

02-Jun-10
US steam cracker operators saw margins shrink this week as spot ethylene prices moved lower and ethane prices inched higher, as per Platts. Spot ethylene fell three cents/lb on the week while spot ethane values gained roughly the same. This reduced steam cracker margins despite decent profits from ethane and E/P mix for operators. Based on Thursday's assessed ethylene price at 36 cents/lb and ethane at 56.50 cents/gallon, margins from E/P mix were at 14.19 cents/lb while margins from ethane fell roughly 5.2 cents and were at 11.09 cents/lb. Margins from propane fell approximately 8.69 cents and were at 2.83 cents/lb.
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