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Commodities eye

Ethylene prices up despite cheaper crude

The utilization rate at ethylene production facilities in Japan remains high.

TOKYO -- Prices of ethylene, a raw material for synthetic resins, are rising in Asia despite falling crude oil prices. The reason is a tightening supply-demand balance due to robust demand for petrochemical products in the region.

     "With raw material prices declining because of lower oil prices, and ethylene prices going up, our profit margins are widening more than we initially expected," said an executive at a major Japanese chemical manufacturer.

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