Supply constraints propel spot ethylene prices in USA to three-month highs

18-Feb-11
Spot ethylene prices in USA peaked to a three month highs, with February volumes heard done at the 52- and 53-cent/lb levels, as per Platts. These levels were previously seen on November 10, 2010, while February spot ethylene was last assessed Tuesday at 49.125 cents/lb. Ethylene has been on a steady climb since February 8, when a major feedstock supplier Enterprise Products Partners declared force majeure out of the facility out of its Mont Belvieu, Texas unit after a massive fire at a key storage facility. Supporting ethylene's surge were strong ethane values, which reached the 76-cent/gallon level in Tuesday morning trading before scaling back in the afternoon and into Wednesday. A downed olefins unit at LyondellBasell's complex in La Porte, Texas, and ExxonMobil's move to put certain high-density polyethylene products out of its Mont Belvieu, Texas, plant on allocation, were also having an effect on prices.
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