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February ethylene contract settles with increase
HOUSTON, March 1, 2017 (PCW) – In the monthly contract market, multiple agreements for Feb were confirmed at 35.75 cpp, representing a 2.25 cpp increase from Jan. Not all participants that are typically involved in the monthly contract process have agreed to this settled price.
February spot ethylene last traded at 28.75 cpp on Friday and traded in a range of 28.5-38.25 cpp for the month. The 30-day February ethylene calendar average was 33.178 cpp, up 0.94 cpp from January. The 30-day weighted average came in at 35.247 cpp (up 4.155 cpp from January) for Texas and 35.226 cpp (up 4.134 cpp) for Texas-Louisiana combined. The 45-day ethylene weighted average was 34.787 cpp (basis Texas only), up 4.275 cpp from January.
In terms of cash costs, ethane-based costs in the Gulf region in February averaged 10.399 cpp, up 1.052 cpp from 9.347 cpp in January. Propane basis costs in January averaged 13.225 cpp, down 3.812 cpp from 17.037 cpp in December. On an average basis, however, natural gasoline was the most advantaged feedstock in terms of its cash cost at 5.88 cpp.
The increase in the contract price comes on higher spot prices as two ethylene units went down remained offline for planned maintenance, another saw a brief unplanned outage and a fourth resumed full operating rates. The Gulf Coast cracker operating rate in February was 91.9% compared to 93.6% in January. Some 823 million pounds of ethylene output was lost in February, compared to 338 million pounds in January, according to PetroChem Wire estimates. -- Samantha Hartke