US ethylene margins rise on higher spot prices and plant outages

US steam cracker margins climbed last week on higher spot prices and chemical plant outages, as per Platts. Olefins producer Williams declared a force majeure out of its Geismar, Louisiana plant, according to sources. Also, Flint Hills Resources' light olefins unit in Port Arthur, Texas, was shut on Thursday after the loss of steam supply. Both facilities were expected to be back in operation by Tuesday. US ethylene spot price jumped 6 cents on the week and was assessed on Friday at 60-60.50 cents/lb FD USG. Ethane-based margins were assessed Friday at 41.50 cents/lb, up 4.36 cent since the December 14 assessment. Ethane/propane mix-based margins were estimated at 43.84 cents/lb, up 3.30 cent/lb from 40.54 cents/lb on December 14. E/P mix and ethane are the preferred feedstocks of US olefins producers.
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