Methyl tertiary butyl ether Prices, markets & analysis
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Methyl tertiary butyl ether Overview Transcript
Methyl tertiary butyl ether MTBE is a gasoline octane booster. Although MTBE was banned in the United States, China imports a lot of MTBE because it is the world’s number one automarket.
Singapore, which is Asia’s oil trading hub, is also a big MTBE consumer, due to blending demand.
Singapore exports finished gasoline products to Indonesia which is Asia’s biggest gasoline buyer and then Vietnam. Asia also receives MTBE from Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
When the arbitrage economics work, southeast Asia MTBE producers sell the product to China. Besides China, Taiwan and South Korea also import MTBE on a regular basis.
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Updated to Q2 2014
US Gulf (USG) methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) spot prices were erratic during the second quarter, following the USG unleaded gasoline market.
USG MTBE spot prices started the quarter hovering above $3.00/gal. They gained strength through April but then fell in May. This time prices barely remained above $3.00/gal.
However, MTBE spot prices have since rebounded to set fresh highs for 2014.
USG MTBE spot prices are calculated at a 2 cent/gal premium to European MTBE spot prices. MTBE was outlawed as a gasoline additive in the US years ago, but markets remain overseas. There are five MTBE plants remaining in the US.
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