The Ethyl Tertiary Butyl Ether, or ETBE, report is covered weekly in Europe by ICIS. The price assessments cover ETBE spot and as a premium to Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE); an MTBE price completes the table.
Market news and analysis in the commentary compares ETBE in graphs to MTBE and gasoline, and also to Ethanol Fuel grade and FAME. Demand, supply, production issues and feedstock developments also go to complete this unbiased and independent view of the market. Whether you are buying or selling ETBE or related products, this is a valuable reference tool to use when making those important business choices.
Ethyl tertiary butyl ether Overview Transcript
Ethyl tertiary butyl ether, or ETBE is a gasoline blending agent made from bioethanol. It increases the oxygenate level and improves the quality of gases.
It performs a similar role to traditional gasoline components such as MTBE but has added value because it is a biofuel.
EU mandated renewable fuel targets mean that biofuels in Europe command a premium over regular fuel equivalents and ETBE is traded on a premium over MTBE because of that.
The European ETBE market is subject to seasonal variations in demand, similar to those in the gasoline markets and can also be subject to fluctuations in supply. This is because, in addition to European production, the market relies on imports from South America.
The price of ETBE, while being largely determined by that of MTBE, is also influenced by supply and demand fundamentals, as well as the price of feedstock bioethanol, which is itself subject to a high degree of variability. It’s an unpredictable market.
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Ethyl tertiary butyl ether: Market overview
Updated to Q1 2017
Into the fourth quarter, spot prices for ethyl tertiary butyl ether (ETBE) will track methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), the product they are priced at a premium against.
MTBE in turn is priced at a factor against Eurobob gasoline, so any movement in the gasoline market will have a knock-on effect. Ample supply in the gasoline market, teamed with weak crude oil values, led an initial decline in MTBE and ETBE values in the early part of the quarter.
Winter is a softer period of demand for gasoline and all related blending components. A stable ETBE market, with healthy spot ETBE competition, was seen among producers at the end of the third quarter, with little indication that this situation will change in the fourth.
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Ethyl Tertiary Butyl Ether Methodology
About Ethyl tertiary butyl ether
Ethyl tertiary butyl ether (ETBE) is an oxygenated fuel that can be blended with gasoline to make it burn more cleanly. ETBE is produced from ethanol and isobutylene. It is used for octane improvement and motor fuel volatility control.
ETBE is clear in appearance and although virtually colourless it does have a slight yellow appearance and a strong odour. In addition, the fuel is highly flammable.
The ETBE and methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) processes are similar, and a number of MTBE units in Europe have been converted to use ethanol feedstock for ETBE production in order to meet biofuels targets.