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.
Updated to Q1 2019
Asia methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) supply decreased when a few MTBE plants were shut for planned turnaround from February. Supply was further tightened by an explosion at Taiwan’s Tasco MTBE plant and technical issues encountered at South Korea’s S-oil No 2 MTBE plant.
Demand for MTBE increased, on greater demand for all blending components, resulting from reducing refinery gasoline supply, amid heavy refinery turnarounds in Asia, Europe and the US.
European methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) supply lengthened early in the first quarter after a brief January price spike. Components like benzene were providing hefty competition for MTBE in Europe, while Russian MTBE had also been competing in EU Mediterranean export markets. Supply then became more balanced, with demand increasing. This was due to alternative components like benzene and Russia MTBE becoming less available in the Mediterranean, and has led to increased production.
Subdued demand despite strong production led to additional MTBE storage earlier in the quarter. Improved price competition with alternative components, followed by Russia MTBE exports to Venezuela, has strengthened demand within the EU and in nearby export markets for EU producers. Warmer weather in March and the switch away from winter blends have also seen demand increase.
US methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) supply was stable the first quarter, with no known issues or lengthy production hiccups heard in the US Gulf coast. There are four producers of MTBE in the US: Enterprise Products Partners, LyondellBasell, Huntsman and TPC Group.
Demand for US-produced MTBE, which is chiefly exported to international markets, was stable to strong as global gasoline consumption remained high. MTBE is added to gasoline to boost octane levels. Mexico was the top destination for the oxygenate, with Chile, Venezuela and Belgium receiving product as well. MTBE was phased out in the US in favour of corn-based ethanol.
We offer the following regional Methyl tertiary butyl ether analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the Methyl tertiary butyl ether marketplace.
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Around 95% of MTBE produced is used as an octane booster and oxygenate in gasoline.
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.