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US ethylene margins slump 13%

June 28/2011

(ICIS) -- US ethylene margins fell by 13% last week after weakening demand pushed spot prices sharply lower, ICIS margin reports showed on Monday. Ethylene margins fell to 30.31 cents/lb (USD 0668/tonne, EUR 474/tonne) last week, from 34.96 cents/lb a week earlier, using ethane as a feedstock.

The average US ethylene spot price dropped by 8% in the week ended 24 June, pressured by softer demand and a drop in derivative prices, market sources said.

Ethylene for June traded at 57.50-63.00 cents/lb, down from 65.25-66.00 cents/lb a week ago, while July ethylene traded at 56.50-63.00 cents/lb, down from 64.25-65.50 cents/lb in the previous week.

The slump in spot prices last week reflected weaker demand for polyethylene (PE) in both the domestic and export markets, sources said, adding that some PE producers were actually selling ethylene instead of PE.

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