US MTBE inventories drop in March amid steady demand

13 June 2012 22:38  [Source: ICIS news]

MEDELLIN, Colombia (ICIS)--US methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) ending stocks dropped by 28,000 bbl in March as maintenance and tenders out of Latin America tightened supply on the US Gulf (USG), a government agency indicated on Wednesday.

Inventories fell to 604,000 bbl in March, down from the prior month’s level of 632,000 bbl, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

MTBE production during March increased to 1.008m bbl from 951,000 bbl the previous month, according to the data.

Tight supply was seen during March as LyondellBasell started maintenance at its Channelview olefins complex in Texas, market sources said at the time.

Continued robust demand from Latin America in March resulted in many producers holding low inventories and limited availability of product in the USG.

Venezuela's refining circuit has reported several incidents in the past months that have affected the production capacity of refined product and forced the country to look for more product out of the USG and Europe.

Around 95% of MTBE produced is used as an octane booster and as an oxygenate in gasoline. 

By: Leela Landress
+1 713 525 2653

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