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MTBE FOB Singapore: Jan. 2 - Mar. 19, 2013

MTBE FOB Singapore: Jan. 2 - Mar. 19, 2013

Asian MTBE rises as gasoline prices edge up

Asian MTBE rose $5/mt day on day to $1,147/mt FOB Singapore March 15 as gasoline prices edged up, and was down $13.50/mt week on week.

MTBE was assessed March 18 at $1,159/mt, down $1.50/mt from March 15, and slid a further $15/mt March 19 to $1,144/mt before edging up $1/mt March 13 to $1,145/mt.

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The recovery was short-lived and MTBE prices March 14 slipped $3/mt to $1,142/mt.

The Asian MTBE factor, which measures the ratio between the daily assessments for FOB Singapore MTBE and 92 RON gasoline, edged down 1 point day on day but was up 6 points week on week at 1.132 March 15.

There were no bids or offers registered during the Platts Market on Close assessment process March 15.

Gasoline prices in Singapore edged up Friday, with 92 RON closing at $119.89/barrel, up $0.65/b from March 14 and down $2.10/b week on week.

The spread between 92 and 95 RON gasoline narrowed $0.21/b day on day and widened $0.31/b week on week to $3.71/b March 15, between 92 and 97 RON narrowed $0.26/b day on day and widened $0.71/b week on week to $8.53/b, and between 95 and 97 RON narrowed $0.05/b day on day and widened $0.40/b week on week to $4.82/b.

In China, the domestic price of MTBE in the key Shandong market has been flat at around Yuan 8,950-9,400/mt, or $1,142-1,200/mt on an import parity basis, since February 28.

Traders said demand for MTBE was weak as blenders and buyers in China were waiting for the Chinese government to drop the price of gasoline later this month, “possibly March 26,” one said.

A trader in Singapore felt the factor could be also lower as there was no demand for MTBE. “Crude had come off this past week and gasoline prices as well, so the sentiment to blend is not there,” she said.

However, another Singapore trader said there was “some demand from local blenders” as he had received some inquiries for MTBE at a “floating price plus mid-twenties”, but he did not have any cargo to sell.

The spread between naphtha on an FOB Singapore basis and FOB Singapore RON 92 assessments widened $1.10/b day on day to $18.02/b, providing more incentive for blenders to buy higher RON gasoline and blend it down to lower grades with naphtha.

May ICE Brent crude futures futures, the new front-month contract, was assessed at $109.15/barrel at 4:30 pm Singapore time (0830 GMT) Friday, up $0.70/b from a day earlier and down $1.13/b week on week.

Additional Asia oil price charts:

Gasoil FOB Singapore Cargo
Fuel oil: FO 180, 380 CST 3.5%S FOB Singapore Cargo
Gasoline Unl 92 FOB Singapore Cargo
Jet Kerosene FOB Singapore Cargo
Naphtha C+F Japan Cargo

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