What caused a surge in the prices of Methyl Tert-Butyl Ether in Asia
- 31-Mar-2022 3:29 PM
- Journalist: Patrick Knight
A rebound in the gasoline market sparked by surging demand from automobile industries has pushed prices higher for the fuel additive Methyl Tert-Butyl Ether in the Asian region. Methyl Tert-Butyl Ether buying interest has also started to improve as the blend margin strengthened. In the Southeast Asian region, mainly Singapore, Malaysia, the bullish demand for gasoline surged Methyl Tert-Butyl Ether prices. Feedstock Ethylene prices marched higher in the Asian region due to surging upstream Natural Gas values. On 25th March, CFR Southeast Asia Ethylene prices were assessed at USD 1395/ton-USD 1405/ton with an increase of (+50/MT). However, Naphtha prices slipped due to drone attacks at the Saudi Energy Facilities in Jeddah and Riyadh. On 27th March, the Keiyo Ethylene plant completed a turnaround at the cracker shut on 24th January due to a power outage caused by the earthquake. The plant had a production capacity of 768,000/MT for Ethylene.
It was heard that the export of Methyl Tert-Butyl Ether from South Korea to Russia halted due to increasing Western sanctions amid ongoing tension between Russia and Ukraine in February. However, rising MTBE prices deter the production margin of the downstream Methyl Methacrylate (MMA). Due to the significant turnarounds of the Methyl Tert-Butyl Ether plant and the upcoming Ramadan festival in Malaysia, the market supply remained tight with increasing gasoline prices. Along with that, gasoline prices had increased in the Asian market, where surging oil prices pressured the government to hike the prices. In Europe, Methyl Tert-Butyl Ether consumption is growing steadily, and the prices have held firm for the past few weeks.
According to ChemAnalyst, accelerating gasoline demand, majorly in automobile industries, will increase the Methyl Tert-Butyl Ether prices in the Asian market. In terms of the production side, the upcoming festive and supply shortage will decrease the production rates in the manufacturing units. The feedstock Methanol and Ethylene prices are expected to increase, which will more likely affect the operating cost of the enterprises. The downstream MMA market will remain impacted due to squeezing profit and deteriorating demand from the consumer’s end.