Easter break fails to improve demand for gasoline blending components

28 March 2013 23:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Demand for gasoline blending components has failed to improve in the lead up to the Easter break in Europe as a result of the poor weather currently being experienced in the region, sources said on Thursday.

The Easter break traditionally brings with it an increase in gasoline requirements, however, the unusually cold weather has stifled demand.

With demand yet to pick up following the switch to summer specifications, buying interest for blending components also remains at low levels.

“Incremental gasoline demand is correlated with nice weather during the weekends and bank-holidays,” one ethyl tertiary butyl ether (ETBE) supplier said.

With much of Europe experiencing freezing conditions, the supplier added that the current demand levels being experienced were ”not ideal” but “understandable.”

Sources also note great volumes of components available in storage, adding further to the downward pressure on prices.

For now, suppliers seem content in waiting until after the Easter break in the hope that demand will improve.

The methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) factor against gasoline remained stable throughout the week, at 1.13-1.15, however, outright prices fell as a result of poor buying interest in the market.

MTBE prices started the week at $1,218/tonne FOB (free on board) AR (Amsterdam-Rotterdam), and by the end of the week were trading around $1,192-1,196/tonne FOB AR.

ETBE prices made similar losses, trading at $1,198-1,238/tonne FOB ARA (Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp), a fall of $23/tonne from last week.

($1 = €0.78)

By: Neha Popat
+44 208 652 3214

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