Asian MTBE tested new highs last week, supported by higher crude and gasoline prices. However, inter-octane spreads began seeing resistance last week, leading to a slip in the MTBE factor, as blending economics worsened. Nonetheless, if the energy markets continue their uptrend, MTBE will remain supported, despite weakening blend value.
Asian methanol prices rose last week in China and South East Asia, but the uptrend will possibly be short-lived this week, as Brunei Methanol Company restarted its 850,000 mt/year plant last Friday after an unexpected shutdown two weeks ago. An inventory build-up at the East and South China ports last week, by 4% week on week to above 400,000 mt, will also weigh on import interest.