20 February 2010 00:10 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--US methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) contracts for March have been nominated up by 8 cents/lb ($176/tonne, €128/tonne) on pressure from raw materials and tighter supply, sources said on Friday.
Three producers had proposed an 8 cent/lb increase, with effective dates of 1 March, 2 March or 8 March. The initiatives were predicated on constrained feedstock supply, upstream pricing and MEK supply tightness, producers said.
Some buyers doubted that the proposals would succeed, and a customer said its supplier would not participate in the March initiatives.
At least one recent outage included Asia’s largest MEK plant, which was running at 90% capacity after a maintenance restart earlier in the month. During Maruzen Petrochemical's weeklong outage in Japan, the 170,000 tonne/year MEK plant was operating at 50% capacity.
Current prices for US MEK were 69-73 cents/lb, according to data from global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing
US MEK suppliers include ExxonMobil, Shell and Sasol.
($1 = €0.73)
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