China MTBE hits record high on very tight supply, firm demand

13 April 2011 11:05  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE/SHANGHAI (ICIS)--China’s prices of methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) surged to an all-time peak on Wednesday, bolstered by razor-thin supply and strong domestic blending demand ahead of the summer holidays, market participants said.

Prices were also tracking robust global crude futures, with London Brent crude oil above $121/bbl (€83/bbl). Lofty European MTBE prices also triggered a rally in Asian prices, they added.

Domestic MTBE prices rose to yuan (CNY) 9,600-9,800/tonne ($1,468-1,498/tonne) on Wednesday, with fresh offers at CNY10,000/tonne, they said.

 “Supplies are very tight because there are hardly any imports,” one market player said.

Despite Beijing’s recent move to raise retail gasoline and diesel prices, MTBE prices remained lower compared with international levels. The lag in prices had constricted imports, players said.

($1 = 0.69 / $1 = CNY6.54)

Additional reporting by Hedy Dong

By: Felicia Loo

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