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US ethylene contracts settle at highest levels since April 2012

US ethylene contracts settled at their highest level in 29 months, with August contracts settling at 51.50 cents/lb and September at 54.50 cents/lb, market sources said Friday.

The contracts marked an increase of 2 cents/lb for August and 3 cents/lb for September over the last settled contract, which was July at 49.50 cents/lb.

September US ethylene contracts reached their highest level since April 2012 Friday, with market participants agreeing to a two-month settlement that pushed contracts to 54.50 cents/lb. April 2012 contracts were settled at 55.25 cents/lb, according to Platts data.

With the net transaction price for September heard set at 51.50 cents/lb, the posted price for September was pushed to 59 cents/lb, Platts data shows. The NTP for August was heard settling at 51.50 cents/lb, sources said, which would push the posted price for August to 56 cents/lb, Platts data shows.

The increase was within market expectations after higher spot prices — due in large part to multiple production issues — sent spot prices in mid-September to the highest levels since Platts began assessing spot ethylene on July 26, 2004, with a September 16 assessment of 76 cents/lb, according to Platts data.

US spot prices have come down since then, with LyondellBasell completing the startup of an ethylene expansion at its La Porte, Texas, site earlier this week.

US spot ethylene was last assessed Thursday at 65.50-66 cents/lb FD USG for October and 63.75-64.25 cents/lb FD USG for November.

– Platts.com

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