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US ethylene contracts for March could rise by at least 4 cents/lb

March 29/2011

(ICIS) -- US ethylene contracts for March could rise by at least 4 cents/lb (USD 88/tonne, EUR 62/tonne), market sources said on Monday, citing higher production costs and a jump in spot prices. The 8% hike would be the second in as many months, as February ethylene settled at 49.00 cents/lb, up by 3.75 cents/lb from January. Market sources said ethane and spot ethylene were both lending support to the contract side.


Spot ethylene for March traded last week in a range of 58.500-60.625 cents/lb, rising from deals done at 50.750-52.000 cents/lb four weeks earlier.


Meanwhile, production costs rose as ethane, which accounts for more than half of US cracker feedstocks, posted a 7.6% gain in the period.


Mont Belvieu ethane ended Friday at 71 cents/gal, rising from 66 cents/gal in the week ended 4 March.


Major US ethylene producers include Chevron Phillips Chemical, ExxonMobil, INEOS, LyondellBasell and Shell Chemicals.


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