Europe MEK prices rise to nine-month high on tight supply

11 October 2013 18:13  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Spot prices in the European methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) market rose on Friday for a third straight week because of tighter supply, pushing prices to a nine-month high.

The availability of MEK is limited even after South Africa’s Sasol three weeks ago lifted its force majeure on its MEK plant in Moers, Germany. Sources said Sasol's production ramp-up has yet to reach pre-force majeure levels, thereby giving other producers the opportunity to fill the gaps in availability. The Moers plant has a production capacity of 65,000 tonnes/year.

A different producer said it received more requests for product than usual. “This may well be because of limited availability.  We have been selling well. We can basically be selective on whom to sell at which price,” the producer said.

The increase in prices, however, does not reflect the current sluggish demand, caused by ongoing uncertainties in the macroeconomic environment. Any further increase in MEK prices appears limited because of poor consumption and the availability of cheaper material from Asia, sources said.

By: Vladimir Guevarra
+44 208 652 3214

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