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 Q3 2020
ETBE producers continued to feel the wrath of record-high bioethanol fuel prices through Q3, which resulted in drastic production cuts to prevent negative production margins. ETBE availability remained sparse throughout the quarter as a result, as producers with dual ETBE and MTBE production capabilities continued to focus on MTBE output due to better blending margins. Several spot enquiries ultimately failed to transpire into trades due to sustained shortages.
Demand for the ethanol-based fuel oxygenate remained firm across Europe due to the EU RED II mandates. Contractual volumes were delivered as scheduled but availability for spot volumes remained short throughout Q3. Record-high bioethanol prices boosted ETBE prices, which partly accounted for slower demand by the end of September. France, Germany, the Netherlands, Greece, and other Scandinavian and Eastern European countries remained some of the leading ETBE consuming countries in the region.
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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.
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