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Updated to Q2 2017
European methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) prices ranged from the low-$600s/tonne to over $700/tonne FOB AR in the second quarter of 2017, compared with last year’s second-quarter prices which ranged from the mid-$500s/tonne to the mid-$600s/tonne FOB AR.
The quarter started on an upwards trend, with prices in April shooting up to over $730/tonne FOB AR, spurred on mainly by firmer year-on-year gasoline prices.
Towards the end of April and into May, prices declined sharply on the back of weaker gasoline values, before rebounding at the end of May.
Supply was very tight throughout the quarter, which was attributed to planned and unplanned outages in Europe, smaller starting stocks for the year and increased exports to South America due to plant outages in the US.
Demand was expected to increase at the beginning of the quarter, strengthened by the summer driving season. However, the upturn in buying interest was slower to appear than expected, with a noticeable rise in demand only appearing towards the latter half of May.
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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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