07 September 2007 12:37 [Source: ICIS news]
By Peter Salisbury
LONDON (ICIS news)--Butane prices in Europe have reached new record highs on tight supply, increased demand for gasoline blending and surging energy complex values, buyers and sellers said on Friday.
A deal was conducted at $656/tonne (€479/tonne) CIF (cost, insurance and freight) NWE (northwest Europe) on Thursday and offers in the market were now as high as $660/tonne CIF NWE, market sources said.
The previous highest trade and offer were assessed at $636/tonne CIF NWE and $640/tonne CIF NWE by global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing on Friday 31 August.
Energy complex gains and diminished availability of material were said to be central to the high values.
“Cargoes are a lot higher than two weeks ago,” said one trader.
“There isn’t much product around and demand is picking up after the crackers switched to using less butane.
“Gasoline blending season is just beginning, and numbers are high, so buyers are looking for butane for that.
“Energy complex is up in general, so the general supply/demand balance means that prices will go up.
“People are also looking to build stocks for winter early because they are worried that current high pricing will maintain or even move up more.”
Barge values had also seen strong upwards movement, with buyers and sellers reporting trades, as yet unconfirmed, at $630-635/tonne FOB (free on board) ARA (?xml:namespace>
This would also represent another all-time high.
On crude, October WTI was trading above $76.00/tonne and Brent crude at around $74.70/tonne on Friday morning.
US statistics released on Thursday, which had shown yet another drawdown in stocks, and geopolitical tensions in the
After a week of high value trades, gasoline prices fell from $732/tonne on Thursday morning, to trade below $700/tonne on Friday, on higher stocks in the US and lower crude values.
European naphtha was driven by the gasoline market during the week. Traders reported falling stock levels in the
($1 = €0.73)
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