Spot ARA butane prices gain support from petrochemical demand
London (Platts)--27Feb2013/719 am EST/1219 GMT
Spot prices for barge lots of butane loading in the
Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp area have gained support from petrochemical
demand, according to industry sources.
Surplus butane from ARA refineries can be absorbed into the MTBE,
gasoline blending or petchem sectors.
But demand from the MTBE sector is currently quite weak, with
LyondellBasell, which normally imports barge butane as feedstock for MTBE,
exporting butane from its Rotterdam plant.
Industry sources said buying interest for gasoline blending has also
been limited, with most requirements currently being covered by cheaper
olefinic coaster butane.
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"The blenders are not there," said one source.
Petrochemicals, however, have shown a healthy appetite for butane and a
number of barge lots have recently been reported sold into this sector.
Based on Platts data, the key CIF barge butane/CIF naphtha price ratio
was around parity at the beginning of February, weakened to around 95% by
mid-month before increasing again on demand from petchems to a last published
level Tuesday of just under 97%.
--Derek Hardy, email@example.com
--Edited by Jonathan Fox, firstname.lastname@example.org