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Spot ethylene prices are cautiously firmer this week

July 15/2011

(ICIS) -- Spot ethylene prices are cautiously firmer this week, on the back of higher euro-based naphtha costs and more positive sentiment in the key Asian market, market sources said on Friday.
Spot pipeline prices bottomed out two weeks ago in the low EUR 800s/tonne (USD 1.120s/tonne) FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe). Prices had weakened considerably on lengthening supply, because of slowing derivative demand. While no trade has been openly reported this week, sources are now indicating prices at or above EUR 900/tonne. The July contract price settled at EUR 1.090/tonne.

Ethylene is more balanced now, at least we are getting more [buying] interest, another major producer said.

A third producer said cracker rate reductions are playing their part in re-balancing ethylene supply with demand, but some unexpected shorts meant that perhaps the cutbacks had been overdone.

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