19 August 2010 10:23 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Some 10,000 tonnes of methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) from the United States would land in South China in late August that may help ease the current supply crunch, traders said on Thursday.
The cargo would arrive in the booming Guangdong province at the end of this month, they said. No other details for the cargo were immediately available.
“Because of refinery turnarounds, the MTBE feedstock supply is low so the production of MTBE is lower too,” said a source in Mandarin.
The cargoes of 97% purity were traded at around $785/tonne (€612/tonne) CFR (cost and freight) China, traders said.
Feedstock supply of isobutene was tight because of refinery maintenance, traders said.
MTBE prices in northern China held at a firm yuan (CNY) 7,000-7,300/tonne ($1,031-1,075/tonne), while prices in the south edged lower to around CNY7,000/tonne, down CNY200/tonne on the previous week in tandem with an overall weaker global crude complex, traders said.
Supply was particularly tight in north China, but due to the difference in prices, market players could not move cargoes from the south to the north, traders said.
“It will not be profitable,” said one trader.
In Singapore, MTBE prices were assessed at $740-745/tonne FOB Singapore (free on board) on Thursday, ICIS data showed.
($1 = €0.78 / $1 = CNY6.79)
With additional reporting by Hedy Dong in Shanghai
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