NWE FOB coaster butane prices fall on low export demand

London (Platts)--12 Feb 2014 808 am EST/1308 GMT

Spot prices for FOB coaster cargoes of butane have fallen on low export demand, industry sources said Wednesday.

Most surplus butane from refineries and terminals in Northwest Europe is retained within the region and absorbed into the gasoline blending, MTBE and petrochemical sectors in coaster cargo lots of about 1,800-3,000 mt.

There are, however, some occasions when buying interest emerges for exports in cargo lots of around 3,500-4,000 mt. Usually these larger-sized cargoes are exported to Morocco to cover cooking and heating demand.

Some demand for exports appeared at the end of January when Switzerland- based trader Vitol was a buyer of 3,500 mt FOB NWE.

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Platts data shows spot FOB coaster butane prices then increased sharply to $893/mt on January 31 from $820/mt on January 27.

But since then demand for exports has been meager, with Morocco said by sources to be covered, and FOB prices declined steadily to be assessed at $815/mt on Tuesday.

--Derek Hardy, derek.hardy@platts.com
--Edited by Jonathan Dart, jonathan.dart@platts.com

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