IHS Chemical Week

Chemical Week Magazine :: Viewpoint

North American Competitiveness

7:43 AM MDT | August 21, 2009 | ROBERT WESTERVELT

A glut in natural gas supply and lower prices for related natural gas liquids (NGL) feedstocks has provided some small measure of comfort to U.S. and Canadian petrochemical makers. Westlake Chemical reported that second-quarter prices decreased 59% for ethane and 57% for propane compared to the year-ago quarter. Alberta ethane prices were 64% lower in second-quarter 2009, according to Nova Chemicals. Second-quarter natural gas prices in the U.S. and Canada have fallen about 70%. These declines have restored cost advantage to U.S. and Canadian chemical makers...

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