US MEK contracts gain 5 cents on tight feedstock

13 February 2010 00:14  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--US methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) contract prices rose by 5 cents/lb ($110/tonne, €80/tonne), effective on 1 February, largely on raw material supply constraints, sources said on Friday.

The increase took domestic MEK prices to 69-73 cents/lb, according to data from global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.

Ethylene tightened in the wake of unplanned cracker shutdowns along the US Gulf coast after freezing temperatures in January, sources said.

Although restarts have been underway, LyondellBasell declared force majeure (FM) on its ethylene, citing supply restrictions and setting allocations at 87% for February.

Further pressuring MEK pricing were winter storms in the northeast, which delayed shipments from the east coast by 1-2 days, some buyers said.

US MEK suppliers include ExxonMobil, Shell and Sasol.

($1 = €0.73)

For more on MEK, visit ICIS chemical intelligence
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By: Larry Terry
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