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US ethylene contracts for March rising by nearly 10% from February

April 04/2011

(ICIS) -- US ethylene contracts for March were mostly settled on Friday at 53.75 cents/lb (USD 1.185/tonne, EUR 830/t), rising by nearly 10% from February on higher production costs and a jump in spot prices. The increase, which was in line with projections, followed a 10% rise in ethane prices and a nearly 16% surge in ethylene spot prices last month.

Spot ethylene traded in a range of 53.00-60.00 cents/lb in March, rising from 44.25-53.50 cents/lb in February.

Market participants also pointed to firm demand, citing strong derivative exports as a factor pushing ethylene prices up.

According to sources, 20% of US ethylene derivative output was being exported. For polyvinyl chloride (PVC), the number was as high as 40%, sources said.

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