17 May 2013 23:59 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--The methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) factor against gasoline increased this week on improved demand in the European market, market participants said on Friday.
Sources noted an increase in gasoline consumption in Europe, which has led to a corresponding rise in demand for gasoline blending components.
The MTBE factor began the week at 1.12-1.13, and by Friday was at 1.15-1.16, leading to an increase in MTBE prices.
Rumours of increased gasoline interest from Mexico also led to hopes among participants that the high gasoline inventories could soon be reduced in Europe, bringing with it further demand for MTBE for use in gasoline blending.
However, a trader noted that the upturn in gasoline demand could be a result of refiners purchasing extra volumes for the following month’s requirements, and may not be the seasonal increase in demand as hoped.
“I don’t anticipate a drastic increase to MTBE prices until gasoline inventories in Europe are significantly reduced,” a producer added.
MTBE prices were at $1,108/tonne (€864/tonne) FOB (free on board) AR (Amsterdam-Rotterdam) at the close of business on Friday, up from $1,040/tonne FOB AR last week.
($1 = €0.78)
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