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Updated to Q4 2017
There was a planned turnaround at a plant in Europe at the end of September, which may have been responsible for limited seller activity noted at the start of October. However, a healthy supply of MTBE was seen later in the month, which continued until year-end. There were limited offers noted at the end of the fourth quarter, with sellers opting to focus on Q1 sales instead.
Demand slipped in 4Q following a switch to winter grade gasoline at the beginning of October. Winter is typically a period of low European demand as a result of the switch. Winter grade gasolone usually contains less MTBE because the Reid vapour pressure (RVP) requirements are less stringent. MTBE is used for its low RVP, a measure of its propensity to evaporate. Towards the end of December the market was very quiet, with no bids, trades or offers seen for several weeks as buying interest hit its lowest point.
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