The rise of shale resources in the United States is changing the petrochemical industries. Ethylene, the first building block of petrochemical products, is becoming the first target to be hit by the shale boom, and its shifting price dynamics needs to be explored. This study analyzes the transition of ethylene prices from crude oil to natural gas (vertical price dynamics) and investigates widening gaps among regional ethylene prices (horizontal price dynamics). To do this, we detect structural changes in cointegrating relationships and derive time-varying cointegration equations. In addition, for the long- and short-run dynamics, this study established and estimated an error correction model (ECM), with controlling, time-varying cointegrations. This study develops econometric studies by applying time-varying cointegration to nonenergy uses of fossil fuels. Thereby, our results discover that the feedstock structure of US ethylene is moving from crude oil to natural gas and that the comovement of US and Japanese prices is getting intensified.
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