US July MEK prices weaker on soft market conditions

28 July 2012 00:06  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) contract prices for July dropped by 4-8 cents/lb ($88-176/tonne, €71-143/tonne) on weak market fundamentals including import pressure and lacklustre demand, sources confirmed on Friday.

The reduction took the July MEK range to 87-95 cents/lb, as assessed by ICIS, widening the typical range seen in this market.

Most of the decline was reflected at the low end of the new range.

Reductions of 4-9 cents/lb had been heard during the month, and the market’s largest producer cut pricing at the bottom of that range.

However, deeper cuts were confirmed during the month for some customers.

Demand continued to be described as flat and balanced with supply.

Among feedstock, butane at Mont Belvieu, Texas, was in a range of 135.50-136.00 cents/gal, down from 142.50-144.00 cents/gal one week ago.

US spot ethylene was steady at 48.750-49.375 cents/lb compared with 47.50-49.75 cents/lb a week earlier as a cracker outage in Texas this week offset lower ethane prices in the past few days.

US MEK suppliers include Shell Chemicals, ExxonMobil and Sasol.

($1 = €0.81)

By: Larry Terry
1 713 525 2653

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