06 September 2013 21:57 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--A US methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) distributor said on Friday that the recent price increase proposals by Sasol and ExxonMobil are likely tied to concerns that oil prices in the future may increase because of political unrest in Syria.
After a two-year period of stable prices, Sasol is seeking a 5 cent/lb ($110/tonne, €84/tonne) price increase for 15 September.
That is the second MEK producer seeking an increase this month. ExxonMobil recently announced a 5 cent/lb increase for 13 September.
These potential increases come as prices for feedstock ethylene have remained fairly flat the last few months.
“I think it’s tied to the Syria situation,” the source said. “If the US gets involved, oil futures will go up. I think these producers are responding to that.”
The source said it was unlikely that the 5 cent increases would hold. A more appropriate range would be a bump of 3 cents/lb, the source said.
US MEK prices have been at their lowest levels in two years, and there has been no movement at all in contract and spot prices in 2013.
Sasol did not cite a reason for the price nomination.
MEK is currently assessed at 79.00-81.00 cents/lb. Spot is assessed at 73.00-77.00 cents/lb.
Major MEK producers include Sasol, ExxonMobil and Shell.
($1 = €0.76)
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