Methyl ethyl ketone Prices, markets & analysis
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Methyl ethyl ketone Europe Transcript
The European methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) report is published weekly on Fridays. Now, we talk to all the producers, buyers, traders. It is a distribution led market, but that doesn't limit the number of sources we talk to because we feel it is important to get a range of views from across the market so that we really have a holistic picture.
We think that it is important to our subscribers as well, so they know that the knowledge that we have and the information we put into the report is both timely and accurate and goes to a deep level. It means that we can investigate the niche corners of the market and really get a whole picture for what is going on and why.
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Updated to Q4 2014
Prices of European methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) skyrocketed in Q4 on the back of very low availability.
Prices are €2,100-2,300/tonne free delivered (FD) northwest Europe (NWE), about 50% higher than early October prices of €1,450-1,530/tonne FD NWE.
According to sources, the primary cause of the tight market is an ongoing force majeure at chemical major Shell. Shell has stated that it does not comment on its production status.
In addition, ExxonMobil is said to have limited volumes available in Europe, although sources say that it may now be retaining larger quantities for the European market. The company was unavailable for comment.
Prices have fallen slightly from a late-October high as availability has somewhat improved, mainly due to the arrival of imports from Asia and the US.
In addition, demand is fairly low due to end-of-year destocking and the traditionally weak season for MEK sales. Shell has now restored some of its production capacity and is able to deliver limited quantities of material, according to market participants. Shell is still officially on FM for MEK.
However, the market is still somewhat short, with most sources expecting prices to stabilise at a higher level than before.
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ICIS price assessments are based on information gathered from a wide cross-section of the market, comprising consumers, producers, traders and distributors from more than 250 reporters world-wide. Confirmed deals, verified by both buyer and seller, provide the foundation of our price assessments.
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