19 October 2007 16:54 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS news)--There was some panic in the European prompt spot methanol market as product tightened and prices were talked over €500/tonne, sources said on Friday.
“We are not far away from €500/tonne,” one trader said, while another source suggested prompt business may have been done even higher.
This was up from the last deal done for October at €460/tonne, according to chemical market intelligence ICIS pricing.
Product in Europe was tight because of production issues, especially Methanex’s lack of gas in
This was compounded by Mider Helm’s declaration of force majeure from 13-27 October.
Europe’s largest manufacturer StatoilHydro is still in a buying position, according to a different seller, following a recent force majeure there.
“The tightness was artificial a few weeks ago, now it is real,” a customer said.
Speculation was rife as to when Methanex would be able to operate normally but there was no update on this from the company, said a source there.
“As long as there is no force majeure [declared by Methanex] I can assume they are supplying customers so why this panic?” one customer said.
“If Methanex has gas again, the pipeline will be filled very fast and we will see falling numbers,” according to a seller.
The market needed Methanex’s volume to become back balanced again, said another trader.
It would take a minimum of two months to fill up its system, he added.
Also affecting the European market were US prices, which rallied to $2.30/gallon ($764/tonne and €535/tonne) this week, according to buyers and sellers.
This was encouraging what little product availability there was to be exported there.
High prices were also enticing enquiries to bring material into
Meanwhile, 10,000-15,000 tonnes of methanol could be heading to
($1 = €0.70)
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