US ethylene market reaches a long-awaited three-month settlement

05-Oct-09
The US ethylene market reached a long-awaited three-month settlement on Thursday, putting September contract prices at 34.50 cents/lb ($761/ton; €517/ton), as per ICIS pricing. Monomer settled down 3.75 cents/lb for July, up 2.75 cents/lb for August and up 2.00 cents/lb for September. US ethylene for June settled at 33.50 cents/lb. The three-month settlement puts July ethylene at 29.75 cents/lb and August at 32.50 cents/lb. US ethylene usually settles at the end of the month being negotiated. However, contracts can remain unsettled if the market is unable to reach a consensus. The latest impasse began in July, when buyers and sellers failed to agree on a reduction to match lower production costs that month, including a 7 cent/gal drop in the cost of ethane. A new round of negotiations ensued but by the end of first week of September at least one settlement participant had moved to the sidelines, triggering the three-month standoff.
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