Europe MTBE trades lower on weak energy, limited demand

04 October 2013 17:16  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) prices edged down slightly this week, in line with a generally weak energy complex, sources said on Friday.

Trading activity in the spot market was again at low levels, and the factor against Eurobob gasoline cash barges remained steady throughout the week at 1.15-1.16.

“Gasoline demand is weak. [There’s] not a lot of blending going on,” one trader said.

The trader also noted that the switch to winter grade gasoline has led to a lot of blenders switching to the more competitively priced butane as their octane-booster of choice.

With other consumers sourcing their requirements on term contracts, it is thought there is currently limited demand for further volumes in the spot market.

Sources have seen a narrowing of the naphtha and gasoline spread, leading to expectations that MTBE premiums over gasoline will also decline as a result.

MTBE prices were at $1,070/tonne (€781/tonne) FOB (free on board) AR (Amsterdam-Rotterdam) at the close of business on Friday, a fall of $30-31/tonne from last week.

Prices have steadily declined over the past month losing $122/tonne since 6 September, pressured by ailing demand from consumers in Europe.

($1 = €0.73)


By: Neha Popat
+44 208 652 3214



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