The Ethyl Tertiary Butyl Ether, or ETBE, report is covered weekly in Europe by ICIS. The price assessments cover ETBE spot and as a premium to Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE); an MTBE price completes the table.
Market news and analysis in the commentary compares ETBE in graphs to MTBE and gasoline, and also to Ethanol Fuel grade and FAME. Demand, supply, production issues and feedstock developments also go to complete this unbiased and independent view of the market. Whether you are buying or selling ETBE or related products, this is a valuable reference tool to use when making those important business choices.
Updated to Q1 2019
March saw domestic supply of European ethyl tertiary butyl ether (ETBE) diminishing while Brazil import spot prices have been attractive in spot markets. Previously, low domestic production stayed in line with low January-February fuel demand. Supply overall is ample as EU producers focus on maintaining key Europe market share and imports abound. Those with ETBE-MTBE (methyl tertiary butyl ether) switch capabilities are also more likely to have focused on MTBE production as the quarter has gone on, given lower methanol prices and relatively high ethanol prices.
European ETBE demand is expected to have increased year on year in Q1 2019, due to rising European renewable fuel mandates and increased market share. Also key are country-specific mandates: Greece began consumption of ETBE this year. Due to already having MTBE infrastructure in the region, ETBE is likely to remain attractive relative to fuel ethanol. Demand will likely rise across the course of the second quarter as the driving season approaches.
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Ethyl Tertiary Butyl Ether Methodology
Ethyl Tertiary Butyl Ether or ETBE is an oxygenated fuel that can be blended with gasoline to make it burn more cleanly and thus improve overall air quality.
Ethyl tertiary butyl ether (ETBE) is an oxygenated fuel that can be blended with gasoline to make it burn more cleanly. ETBE is produced from ethanol and isobutylene. It is used for octane improvement and motor fuel volatility control.
ETBE is clear in appearance and although virtually colourless it does have a slight yellow appearance and a strong odour. In addition, the fuel is highly flammable.
The ETBE and methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) processes are similar, and a number of MTBE units in Europe have been converted to use ethanol feedstock for ETBE production in order to meet biofuels targets.