08 February 2011 06:33 [Source: ICIS news]
By Felicia Loo
Spot values of the octane booster in gasoline were steady at $940-950/tonne (€696-703/tonne) FOB (free on board)
Import requirements from China were expected to surge after the holidays, as driving demand in the world’s top energy user as well as the number-one global auto market would peak in the next few months, traders said.
Car sales in
Spot MTBE premiums in
“Premiums are at the high $20/tonne [levels]. Blending margins are quite good,” said a trader.
Blending margins, or the spread between naphtha and gasoline, had increased to $10.70/bbl on Monday’s market close from $9.30/bbl in late January, traders said.
Import needs from
The cracker turnaround will be heavier this year in
LG Chem is scheduled to shut its 760,000 tonne/year naphtha cracker in Daesan for a month-long turnaround and expansion works, starting on 15 March.
The plant’s ethylene capacity will be increased to around 900,000 tonnes/year after the debottlenecking work.
In addition, MTBE supply was generally tight, especially as petrochemical giant Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) was scheduled to take its 700,000 tonne/year MTBE plant off line from February to March.
The plant is located at Al-Jubail in
SABIC, which is the world’s largest producer of MTBE, shut its 1m tonne/year and 300,000 tonne/year MTBE units for regular maintenance from late December 2010 to early February 2011. It was not immediately known if the two units had restarted yet.
($1 = €0.74)
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