US ethylene margins fell by 4% in the second week of November under pressure from lower ethylene spot prices, as per ICIS margin report. Ethylene spot margins were assessed at 43.36 cents/lb (US$956/ton) using ethane as a feedstock, down from 45.12 cents/lb a week earlier.
The reduction followed a drop in ethylene spot prices, which last week traded at 53.250 cents/lb for November delivery, down from 55.000 cents/lb in the previous week as a result of weaker demand. US ethylene for November was offered at 52 cents/lb on Monday against a bid at 50.75 cents/lb. Mont Belvieu ethane firmed up slightly from Friday to 29.50 cents/gal, trending upward along with other energy commodities.
Ethane accounts for around 60% of the feedstocks used to make ethylene in the US.
US ethylene spot margins have averaged 43.69 cents/lb so far in 2012, up by nearly 60% from an average 27.47 cents/lb in 2011.