US steam cracker margins rose week on week as feedstocks prices declined, and amid a relatively warm winter in continental USA. Mild weather forecasts for the upcoming months have lead to a drop in price of propane, which in turn has shown to be feedstock of choice for ethylene cracking for the past week, as per Platts.
Margins using propane as feedstock jumped 7.45 cents/lb for the week, assessed at 47.20 cent/lb Friday, from 39.75 cents/lb on December 28. US ethylene spot price ended the week 0.75 cents/lb higher, assessed Friday at 60-60.50 cents/lb FD USG, as ethylene markets were heard stabilizing at the 59-61 cents/lb level, according to market sources. Ethane-based margins were assessed Friday at 42.33 cents/lb, up 1.33 cents/lb since the December 28 assessment.