20 July 2010 18:26 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--A jump in US Gulf methanol spot prices this week has stumped buyers and sellers in the market, participants said on Tuesday.
Expectations that prices would continue to fall received a jolt on Monday, with a confirmed trade calling for 15,800 bbl to be purchased at 93.5 cents/gal on 19-24 July. Another trade late last week called for a purchase of 20,000 bbl at 91 cents/gal.
"We're kind of surprised," a supplier said. "It just seems weird."
The talk last week had spot prices falling into the low-80 cents/gal range in the next few weeks, due to an oversupply regionally and globally.
A market participant noted expectations were for the contract price would fall about 5 cents/gal to the $1.00-$1.02 range around the end of July or first of August.
US sources doubted that the Asian plant outages had any impact on prices for US methanol, but noted there were no other explanations.
Canada’s Methanex and Houston-based Southern Chemical are the two major methanol suppliers to the US market.
($1 = €0.77)
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