21 December 2007 15:11 [Source: ICIS news]
(Updates, adds reaction and detail from fourth paragraph onwards)
LONDON (ICIS news)--The European first-quarter methanol contract price has been settled at €490/tonne ($701/tonne), up €110/tonne from the fourth quarter, a StatoilHydro company source said on Friday.
“This afternoon we reached a settlement. It is lower than what we believe to be the correct market price, but a number achievable with our customers,” he said.
StatoilHydro settled with five of its customers, the source said. The contract was done on a FOB (free on board) Rotterdam basis.
“I was not surprised at the €490/tonne, but what happens to spot as we go into January? I think the market may not be as tight as some may have us believe,” a buyer said.
Helm, a major importer of methanol, had proposed €595/tonne as a starting point for discussion but now needed time to digest the news.
“I am disappointed with the urge to move and settle because now it has concluded at an unjustified level,” a source at Helm said. “There were signals from customers that there would be no problem with the contract price with a five in front,” he added.
From the producer side, Mider Helm was not prepared to comment until the New Year; SDO said it had heard about the settlement but would not confirm if it too had concluded; RMF Chemicals preferred to wait until after the holiday before concluding, according to one of its customers.
The €490/tonne European contract price follows the Methanex European posted contract price (MEPCP) of €525/tonne which was reported on Friday morning but then later delayed.
($1 = €0.70)
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