27 September 2011 06:59 [Source: ICIS news]
By Felicia Loo
Spot MTBE prices were at $1,069-1,071/tonne (€791-793/tonne) FOB (free on board) Singapore on Monday, down by an average of $45/tonne from $1,104-1,126/tonne in the week ended 23 September, ICIS data showed.
“The [MTBE] market seems to be depressed because of crude,” said a trader.
A slew of dismal economic data from Europe, the
At 01:57 GMT, November Brent crude on
In the Asian MTBE market, spot prices are weak but tight supply is currently holding the premiums up.
A couple of deals changed hands early last week at a premium of $30/tonne to market quotes on a delivered basis. The two 2,000-tonne cargoes of Middle Eastern material were for delivery in the first half of October, market sources said.
Plant maintenance and firm regional demand are sapping supply availabilities.
SABIC plans to shut its 700,000 tonne/year MTBE plant at Al-Jubail in
Trading was brisk in
A 2,000-tonne cargo was heard done at $1,210/tonne CFR China for first-half October delivery, with the material hailing from
Fresh buying indications for Form E material rose to around $1,220/tonne CFR China, although this could not be confirmed. The buy-sell ideas for non-southeast Asian material were between $1,150/tonne and $1,170/tonne CFR China, traders added.
However, Chinese companies only shop for cargoes on a need-to basis, and showed more interest in smaller parcels of southeast Asian material.
Given expectations of weaker demand in the fourth quarter, in line with the slowing down of the global economy, MTBE buyers in
The trend of
“It is not likely for Chinese buyers to stockpile cargoes for the Lunar New Year. They will buy (MTBE) when they need to,” said a second trader.
In the week ended 23 September, domestic MTBE prices in east China rose gradually from yuan (CNY) 9,200/tonne at the start of the week to around CNY9,350-9,400/tonne. In south
China's consumption of gasoline, in which MTBE is used as an octane booster, is set to grow at a modest rate of 5-6% this year to 75.5m tonnes, or around 1.51m bbl/day, because of higher car sales and ownership recorded last year.
The country sold 1.38m vehicles in August, up 4.15% year on year, with sales expected to keep growing at a moderate pace in the next few months, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) said. Passenger car sales rose 7.3% year on year to 1.10m units, CAAM data showed.
In the January-August period of this year,
($1 = €0.74)
Additional reporting by Hedy Dong in
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