12 August 2009 11:56 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--US exports of methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) fell by 42% to 8,995 tonnes during the first half of 2009 from 15,462 tonnes during the same period a year earlier, according to US International Trade Commission (ITC) data released on Wednesday.
Mexico remained, by far, the top destination for US MEK, taking 4,855 tonnes, or 54% of total shipments for the six-month period.
Month over month, June exports more than doubled to 2,921 tonnes from 1,467 tonnes in May. Mexico was also the top destination for June material, taking 65% of total shipments for the month, followed by Venezuela and Colombia.
June imports more than doubled from May levels due largely to volumes of 1,501 tonnes from Germany and 1,000 tonnes from Brazil.
However, imports during the first half of the year fell marginally to 27,412 tonnes from 28,065 tonnes during the same period of 2008. The drop reflected recessionary pressures that reduced end-market demand for MEK, largely from the architectural and automobile coatings markets.
Current US prices for MEK were 62-66 cents/lb ($1,367-1,455/tonne, €971-1,033/tonne), according to data from global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.
US MEK producers include Shell Chemicals and ExxonMobil.
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