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China stops MTBE re-exports because of rising domestic demand

August 01/2011

(ICIS) -- Chinese market players have reversed a rare move to resell bonded cargoes of methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) because domestic demand for gasoline fuel is picking up, traders said on Monday. A major Chinese seller withdrew its offer to sell 4 KT of bonded MTBE last week. The sellers initial offer stood at USD 1.140/tonne (EUR 787/tonne) FOB (free on board) China, the traders said.

Around 10-12 KT of MTBE material were being resold into the Singapore market in ecent weeks at USD 1.120/tonne FOB China, or equivalent to USD 1.165/tonne CFR (cost & freight) Singapore, the traders added. The cargo was subsequently sold at USD 1.140/tonne FOB China or USD 1.185/tonne CFR Singapore, the traders added.

China, the world's top energy user, imports gasoline despite being a net gasoline exporter and major Chinese refiners source the motor fuel from private blenders, the traders added. There will be hundreds of thousands of motorists on the roads during Golden Week, which is a week-long holiday celebrating China's National Day.

Overall gasoline demand remains stable in China, although the Chinese government is tightening credit to combat inflation, industry players said.

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