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Updated to Q4 2017
A healthy supply of ETBE persisted throughout the fourth quarter, with enough production to fulfil the limited demand noted in the winter months. Generally, there is little possibility for a long ETBE market, because most producers tend to switch to producing MTBE when there is limited ETBE demand.
Demand took a tumble in the fourth quarter, as the switch to winter grade gasoline took place at the beginning of October. Winter is typically a period of low European demand, due to a switch to winter-specification gasoline. This usually contains less ETBE because the Reid vapour pressure (RVP) requirements are less stringent. ETBE is mainly used for its low RVP, a measure of its propensity to evaporate. It is also more environmentally friendly than its competitor, methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE). Towards the end of December the market was very quiet, with limited activity noted during the month. As a result, the premium against MTBE slipped heading to the end of the year.
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