– 92 RON crack falls 81 cents/b to $6.05/b
– Hengli’s 600,000 mt/year plant to start early May
The Asian MTBE marker fell $9/mt on day to $757/mt FOB Singapore on Thursday, pressured by weaker 92 RON crack as well as softer crude oil prices. Front-month ICE Brent futures were down 13 cents/b on day to $74.20/b at 4:30 pm Singapore time (0830 GMT). The FOB Singapore naphtha marker was down 12 cents/b over the same period at $66.20/b. In plant news, China’s Hengli Petrochemical is planning to begin commercial operations at its new 600,000 mt/year MTBE plant at Dalian, Liaoning province, in early May, a company source said Thursday. “(Hengli’s) new MTBE plant is expected to start its commercial operation in early May,” the source, who is based in China, said. Initially, Hengli was expected to start marketing its MTBE in April, official documents filed to the Shanghai Stock Exchange on March 25 showed. When contacted, the company did not provide the reason for the delay in the startup. Once the new MTBE plant begins running fully, the total MTBE capacity in China will reach around 3.07 million mt/year, up 24.29% from the current capacity of around 2.47 million mt/year, S&P Global data showed. The capacity expansion will make China one of the biggest MTBE producing countries across Asia and the Middle East. Currently, Saudi Arabia produces around 3.07 million mt/year of MTBE, the largest by volume in the Middle East and Asia, followed by China at 2.47 million mt/year, South Korea at 994,000 mt/year and Taiwan at 680,000 mt/year, data showed.
The FOB Singapore MTBE marker was assessed down $9/mt day on day at $757/mt on Thursday, pressured by softer 92 RON crack and weaker crude. During the Market on Close assessment process, no bids or offers were registered. The marker takes an average of the 15th to 40th day laycans, currently May 9 to June 3. The MTBE factor was assessed at 1.116.