US steam cracker margins from light feeds gain as ethylene rises

11-Nov-10
US steam cracker margins surged this week in line with ethylene which saw notable gains on the back of production outages, as per Platts. Despite strong ethane values, spot ethylene prices hit a 6-month high this week- traded as high as 51 cents/lb MtB Wms and 52.50 cents/lb MtB Equ. Spot ethane was assessed as high as 71 cents/gallon midweek before scaling back to trade at 68 cents/gallon last Friday. Given these levels, margins from ethane shot up to 19.25 cents/lb, while E/P mix margins also posted notable week-on-week gains, up approximately 6.64 cents to 22.58 cents/lb. Propane margins gained roughly 7 cents to close the week at 8.54 cents/lb while margins from butane swung into positive territory at .54 cents/lb. Margins from light naphtha were also positive at 3.32 cents/lb.
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