19 September 1994 00:00 [Source: ICB]
US MTBE players will be cautiously celebrating following a district of Columbia court of appeal judgement to grant an NPRA-backed emergency motion to block the EPA ethanol mandate pending court review. The court is now expected to hear the case in early 1995, at the very least delaying implementation by the mandate.
A motion for summary reversal of the mandate, requiring 15% ethanol content in oxygenate for reformulated gasoline (RFG) for next year, rising to a 30% target in 1996 and thereafter, was rejected.
Meanwhile European methanol producers are pressing hard for DM650-700/tonne fob Rotterdam Q4 contract prices - DM210-260/tonne up on Q3 - which they claim is needed to avoid a leakage of material to US and Far East markets and would attract additional Russian and Libyan material to Europe.
But such numbers would leave MTBE players with $400/tonne to pay for methanol feedstock at a time when Q4 MTBE contract ratios of 1.7 to premium unleaded gasoline produces a $310/tonne fob Rotterdam selling price.
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