US spot ethylene prices were expected to rebound to mid 60-cent/lb territory over the next couple of weeks as major turnarounds near, as per Platts.
After opening August particularly strongly -- trading as high as 64.50 cents/lb -- spot ethylene shed 2.5 cents/lb last week as volatility in the financial markets and economic concerns worldwide dragged down the energy complex. Ethylene was heard talked Monday in a range of 59.75-62.50 cents/lb. Bids were stronger Tuesday morning, with August buy ideas seen around 61.75 cents/lb.
Perceived tightness in the market this summer has been exacerbated by a number of small unplanned outages. At least four major cracker turnarounds, amounting to an estimated 3.1 mln tpacapacity, are scheduled for September and October in the US Gulf Coast region.
Formosa Plastics USA has confirmed a turnaround Sep 1-Oct 10 at its Point Comfort, Texas, Olefins unit II, and ExxonMobil (Baton Rouge, Louisiana) is also expected to undergo a maintenance early next month. Shell Chemical (Deer Park, Texas) and Dow Chemical (St. Charles, Louisiana) are set to undergo maintenances in October, market sources said.