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Updated to Q1 2017
US methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) domestic and spot prices trended higher in the first quarter, reflecting higher prices and tightening supply in the global market.
Producers separately nominated several price increases throughout the quarter, which participants suggested was a result of tightening supply in the European market.
Initially, producers nominated price increases of 3 cents/lb ($66/tonne), effective mid-to-late January. Additional increases of 3 cents/lb were nominated for early February. These increases were said to be fully successful, according to participants. Further price increases ranging from 5-7 cents/lb were nominated for mid-February, which were also said to be fully successful. Producers nominated more increases of 5 cents/lb for the beginning of March, which sources said were also holding. Finally, increases of 3 cents/lb were heard for mid-March.
Previously, US MEK prices remained stable and near historic lows from July to December 2016, reflecting what sources said was balance between supply and demand. There was ongoing talk throughout the quarter that at least one major supplier in Europe had been experiencing production issues. However, this could not be confirmed.
Demand was said to be good, although there was uncertainty whether supply-side constraints were responsible.
Currently, there is no US-based production of MEK.
ICIS provides pricing information, news and analysis for all major petrochemical and chemical markets, including Methyl ethyl ketone.
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ICIS price assessments are based on information gathered from a wide cross-section of the market, comprising consumers, producers, traders and distributors from more than 250 reporters world-wide. Confirmed deals, verified by both buyer and seller, provide the foundation of our price assessments.
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