March 4, 2013
/PRNewswire/ -- Prices for ethylene, the raw material for many consumer goods made from plastic, declined in early February from the eight-month peak reached in late January and then plateaued signaling a potential improvement in profit margins for manufacturers heading into Spring, according to the chemical industry report, PetroChem Wire (PCW).
U.S. ethylene prices fell from nearly
per pound on
before rebounding slightly to end the month at
per pound, a 7% overall decline. At the same time, costs to produce ethylene from ethane rose from
per pound to
per pound, and propane-based costs rose from
per pound to
Ethylene price stability in recent weeks following the earlier, more dramatic price movements, suggests a more balanced supply/demand picture for the chemical. "Overall, February was a stable month for ethylene and many of its downstream markets," said
, PCW's executive editor. "During January, some unexpected plant outages contributed to prices rising. Once those plants came back online, prices stabilized."
ethylene price seen in late January was the highest level since early
and was the pinnacle of an uninterrupted price increase that began in early December. Ethylene prices jumped by nearly 30 percent, or
per pound, between early December and late January.
This steady price increase reflected strong domestic and export demand and tighter domestic supply for polyethylene, ethylene's largest plastic derivative. The U.S. and
recorded the highest volume of polyethylene exports in three years in December.
The PetroChem Wire is a daily newsletter serving the petrochemical industry. It counts every major petrochemical and refining company among its readers, as well as many major manufacturing concerns, global conglomerates, industry consultants, equity analysts and government agencies. It also produces maps of the ethylene plant and pipeline system. For more information, see
SOURCE PetroChem Wire