The Methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) markets are covered both weekly and daily by ICIS in Asia, Europe and the US. These up-to-date, reliable and informative reports provide vital, unbiased updates to those involved with the industry and allows players to make confident and informed business decisions.
The weekly reports contain spot price assessments for this gasoline blending component over the week and at close of business Friday. Market commentary gives details of deals taking place, domestic news, gasoline updates and graphs. The daily reports focus on price assessments for MTBE, gasoline and related market quotations, with an overview of the day's activity.
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Methyl tertiary butyl ether: Market overview
Updated to Q2 2017
Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE) prices in Asia are likely to rebound in the second quarter on expectations of an improvement in demand-supply fundamentals. Market players believe refinery turnarounds in Asia during the spring will provide a respite to gasoline oversupply, which in turn will give support to FOB Singapore prices. In addition, with the gasoline blending demand season in China due to start, there is some hope in the market that CFR China import interest will be revived.
MTBE markets in the US are expected to begin strengthening during the second quarter as fuel blenders transition to summer grades of gasoline. MTBE is primarily used as an octane component in summer fuels due to its low volatility. In winter fuels, blenders can use less expensive octane components like butane. MTBE was phased out as a gasoline additive in the US several years ago. However, overseas markets for US-produced material remain, most notably in Mexico and countries in South America.
European MTBE prices are forecast to rise in the second quarter as traders expect demand to increase with the start of the summer driving season. Demand was fairly low in the first quarter but prices have started to rebound following the transition into summer grade gasoline at the end of March. Supply is expected to be tight in April, which traders attribute in part to expected turnarounds in the region.
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Methyl tertiary butyl ether news & analysis
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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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Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether Methodology
About Methyl tertiary butyl ether
Methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) is a colourless, flammable liquid with a characteristic ether odour. It is soluble in water, alcohol and ether and unstable in acidic solutions. MTBE is highly flammable and can form peroxides on storage.
Around 95% of MTBE produced has been used as an octane booster and as a oxygenate in gasoline. One of its major advantages is its good blending properties and for increasing the octane levels of lead-free gasoline.
MTBE can also be used to make high-purity isobutylene, which can be further processed to make butyl rubber, highly reactive polyisobutylene, methyl methacrylate (MMA) and other smaller derivatives.
MTBE is also used as a solvent and extractant.