US May MEK exports more than double year-ago levels

13 July 2010 21:45  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--The US exported 3,312 tonnes of methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) in May, more than twice the 1,467 tonnes shipped abroad during the same month of 2009, the US International Trade Commission (ITC) said on Tuesday.

The top destinations were Belgium, which took 55% of exports, and Mexico, which took 23% of the month’s total.

Month over month, however, exports nearly quadrupled from 839 tonnes in April as unplanned outages plagued European and Asian markets.

Concurrently, demand from US buyers remained high amid supply limits stemming from previous feedstock cracker outages on the US Gulf coast.

Imports were up by 87% from the year-ago period, but were only 7% higher than the previous month, with 59% of May’s 4,054 tonnes of imported material arriving from the Netherlands, the ITC said.

Amid short supply and increased demand, ICIS-assessed US MEK prices increased to 90-94 cents/lb ($1,984-2,072/tonne, €1,567-1,637/tonne).

US-based MEK producers include Shell Chemicals and ExxonMobil.

($1= €0.79)

For more on MEK, visit ICIS chemical intelligence
To discuss issues facing the chemical industry, go to ICIS connect

By: Larry Terry
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