24 March 2005 06:19 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (CNI)--Southeast Asian MTBE producers raised their offers by $20 from the previous day to $520/tonne FOB Singapore in response to the US gasoline price surge, traders said on Thursday.
Nymex Access April unleaded gasoline futures prices picked up from where it left off in the floor trade, rising 81 points from Wednesday's floor close to 158.30 cents/gallon. April unleaded futures settled at 157.49 cents/gallon after hitting an intraday high of 160 cents/gallon.
Besides the futures prices, news of the explosion also boosted gasoline cash prices in the Gulf Coast region. The higher gasoline prices were attributed to the fatal BP refinery explosion in Texas, US.
In line with the higher offers, MTBE bids also rose by $10 to $510/tonne FOB Singapore, a Southeast Asian producer said.
A second producer said the full impact of the BP refinery blast on Asian gasoline and MTBE markets would become clear in a day or two.
Asian producers and buyers said the rise in US gasoline prices in recent weeks had already led to an increase in Asian gasoline prices. "The BP refinery blast will only further strengthen market sentiment for MTBE," said a Taiwanese MTBE buyer.
Although the buyer procures its monthly MTBE consignment of 10,000-15,000 tonne on term contract, he believes that the rise in US gasoline values would eventually hit the Asian contract market too.
"Contract prices of our MTBE purchases have been rising by an average of 5% per month in the last few months, due to rising gasoline prices," the buyer said.
Prices of Asian MTBE would continue to strengthen as the impact of the US gasoline supply shortfall begins to kick in in Asia, producers said.
Unlike the US, where MTBE is banned in several states due to environmental concerns, MTBE is a popular gasoline-blending agent in Asia.
Physical gasoline prices in Asia had risen to around $60/bbl early Thursday, up from $59.06/bbl on Wednesday.
For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.
Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.
|ICIS news FREE TRIAL|
|Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index|
Asian Chemical Connections