US MEK spot price range narrows on tighter supply

10 January 2014 21:25 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Spot prices for US methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) narrowed on Friday due to tighter supply, sources said.

Spot MEK tightened to 75-77 cents/lb ($1,653-1,698/tonne), a 2 cent increase on the lower end of the range. The range had been 73-77 cents/lb for several weeks.

Sources indicated that the holiday season, when most petrochemicals markets come to a crawl, saw MEK supply tighten just a tad, putting slight pressure on prices.

Meanwhile, US December ethylene contracts reached a full settlement on Friday, up 4.3% from November.

Ethylene is a feedstock of MEK, and spot prices for the chemical have been rising in recent weeks.

MEK sources have indicated that rising ethylene prices have not affected MEK, as the market was balanced. However, sources also said that it would not surprise them to see MEK price increase announcements in the future should ethylene continue to climb.

Major producers of MEK are ExxonMobil, Sasol, Dow Chemical and Shell.

By Andrew Guy Jr