15 November 2013 22:09 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Spot prices for US methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) have fallen, offsetting recent increases in the market, sources said on Friday.
Prices dropped 3 cents/lb ($66/tonne), to a range of 73.00-77.00 cents/lb ($1,609-1,698/tonne, €1,191-1,257/tonne).
A recent global tightening of MEK due to a production glitch in Europe saw US spot prices increase 3 cents/lb a few weeks ago.
“MEK is crazy right now,” a source said Friday. “It’s starting to drop again. The issue in Europe didn’t affect the US market like they thought it was going to. The US market isn’t really pushing MEK.”
The source also said it was told by a large US producer that the company was cancelling MEK spot orders for November. Although the source was not told why, it speculated that US producers had too many orders to supply for the month.
“I just had two orders cancelled [by a US MEK producer],” the source said.
The source added that it had heard that a second MEK producer may lower prices in December as well.
A second market source also confirmed that it was seeing MEK decreases, and summed up the market thusly: “It doesn’t make any sense. First we heard things were tight on MEK, and now they’re not as tight as everyone thought? I don’t know.”
Major US producers of MEK are ExxonMobil, Sasol, Dow Chemical and Shell.
($1 = €0.74)
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