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US ethylene margins fell in the first week of September

September 13/2011

(ICIS) -- US ethylene margins fell in the first week of September, pressured by softer spot prices and slightly higher production costs, the ICIS margin report showed on Monday. Ethylene margins were at 31.61 cents/lb (USD 697/tonne, EUR 509/tonne) for the week ended 9 September, down from 34.34 cents/lb a week earlier, using ethane as a feedstock.

The drop took margins to their lowest level since early August, the report said, attributing the decline last week to a nearly 4% drop in ethylene spot prices.

Ethylene for September traded at 60.000Ц62.000 cents/lb, down from 63.000-63.875 cents/lb a week earlier, pressured by adequate supply, a slowdown in derivative demand and talk of a delay in a cracker turnaround.

Talk circulated in the market last week that Dow Chemical will push back maintenance at a cracker in Louisiana, delaying a turnaround that was originally scheduled for next month and putting pressure on ethylene. Dow was expected to shut down the 610 KTa cracker in St Charles on 10 October for 30 days.

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