Sasol seeks 5 cent/lb US MEK increase

23 April 2014 22:05 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Sasol on Wednesday announced a 5 cent/lb ($110/tonne) price increase for US methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) for 4 May.

The company did not give a reason for the increase. It did, however, announce a sales control for all MEK sales for April and May.

Sasol is the second MEK price announcement in the last week. ExxonMobil made a separate 5 cent/lb increase announcement effective 2 May. ExxonMobil’s announcement came as a surprise to market participants. Sentiment has long been that the MEK market was balanced and bordering on oversupply.

Current ICIS-assessed prices for domestic MEK are 76-79 cents/lb. Prices for spot MEK are 75-77 cents/lb. MEK prices dipped in March, as sources indicated that the market was teetering on oversupply.

Feedstock ethylene prices have been mixed lately, with contract prices falling slightly, but spot prices inching up a bit.

Major MEK producers are ExxonMobil, Dow Chemical, Sasol and Shell.

By Andrew Guy Jr