29 July 2008 08:09 [Source: ICIS news]
By Rainy Ma and Heng Hui
SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Transport of methanol in China was being hindered by restrictions on moving hazardous materials ahead of the Olympic Games, sources in a number of logistic companies based in the country said on Tuesday.
The 29th Olympics will be held in ?xml:namespace>
The cities of
Methanol is one of the more than 257 chemicals classified as dangerous cargoes to be restricted.
The movement of methanol cargos had been diverted to bypass these cities, and large northwest producers were heard to have faced more difficulty in transporting goods from their operating sites to the coastal markets.
“The cargo transport takes longer due to the roundabouts,” said a north China-based producer in Mandarin, adding that “delivery schedules are compromised.”
Another producer in northeast
Any impact on prices may take time but market players felt that pre-marketing efforts may pressure values lower as buyers would be in a better negotiating position.
Methanol is moved either by barges, rail or trucks in
Barge shipments to ports of
Entry and exit will be subject to approval. In addition, the Lanshan port in
Rail transport of methanol is affected if travel past the
Transport of hazardous cargoes between these two stations had been stopped since the end of June, causing inconvenience for northwest and southwest producers as this was a popular route to move methanol from their plants to south
Currently, the rail ban has had limited impact due to high inventory levels and slow demand in south
Trucking methanol required roundabouts to avoid the Olympic sites, incurring additional time and costs, sources in Chinese logistic companies said in Mandarin.
Adding to tighter pollution and security controls, methanol derivatives also suffered from reduced production or forced closures if the factories were located near the Olympic sites, a downstream end-user said.
Handling of volatile methanol in summer temperatures generally incurs more product losses in addition to the numerous Olympic controls, prompting most downstream converters to choose to shut their plants for maintenances instead, he added.
Distribution of the methanol derivatives, such as acetic acid, was also affected, as it is among the list of controlled hazardous materials.
Sluggish downstream demand will have a detrimental effect on prices, market players said.
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