Demand for high octane components vary throughout the year depending on seasonality, premium gasoline market share, and refinery performance. Stricter gasoline standards also contribute to demand for high octane components.

Among the list of high-octane components are reformate, alkylate, MTBE, ETBE, toluene, xylenes, ethyl benzene, and others. Some of these components primarily see demand from the chemical market but could be diverted to the gasoline pool if there are returns in that segment.

Each blendstock has specific octane rating and rvp content that determines its value in the gasoline pool. Gasoline blenders will look at market prices for each of the octanes and see how it relates to the value in the gasoline pool. In the summer of 2023, high volumes of ethylbenzene were diverted to the gasoline instead of the production of styrene, as styrene prices fell below ethylbenzene blend value.

MTBE is a high-octane component for gasoline blending, but only used in some countries. MTBE demand has been led by growth in Asia, Middle East, and Latin Markets. Other regions have focused on increased biofuel usage which includes ethanol and ETBE.

Argus’ experts will help you determine what trends to track and how to stay competitive in today’s ever-changing global markets.