Shell seeks 5-cent US MEK hike

04 August 2014 22:12 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Shell Chemical is seeking a 5-cent/lb ($110/tonne) increase for US methyl ethyl ketone for 15 August, ICIS learned on Monday.

The company did not note a reason for the increase in the letter to customers. However, it believed that higher ethylene prices, tighter supply and strong demand have impacted the overall MEK market.

Shell’s MEK announcement was the third MEK announcement in the last week. Sasol and ExxonMobil recently made separate 5-cent increase announcements for mid-August. In addition, Sasol also announced it was shutting down its MEK plant in Secunda, South Africa for several months, and was putting MEK on 100% allocation.

US MEK prices are up 13% in four months. Sources have indicated that the latest round of price increases have a chance at being accepted in the market. Some people have speculated that demand for MEK remains strong.

Domestic prices for MEK are 86-88 cents/lb. Spot prices for MEK are 79-81 cents/lb.

Major suppliers of US MEK are ExxonMobil, Dow Chemical, Sasol and Shell.

By Andrew Guy Jr