31 December 2010 05:02 [Source: ICIS news]
By Heng Hui
Prices may hover within the range of $300-400/tonne (€228-304/tonne) CFR (cost and freight)
This year, methanol traded within the band of $200-410/tonne CFR (cost and freight)
Steady demand growth from traditional and non-traditional applications in the key
The traditional end-uses accounted for about 80% of total methanol demand, while the rest if taken up by non-traditional uses, which were expected to require more methanol in 2011, market sources said.
Methanol is used as an alternative fuel substitute and as additives in making methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), dimethyl ether (DME), and is used in gasoline blending – among its non-traditional applications.
Meanwhile, restocking activities in China might occur in early January as current inventories were low, which would provide a near-term boost to prices before overall trades slow down before the Lunar New Year festivities on 2-8 February.
Chinese methanol plants, which ran at significantly reduced capacities averaging 40-50% for the whole of 2010 due to high production costs, might further cut output if methanol prices failed to trend up from December’s levels of $320-340/tonne CFR Asia, market sources said.
Production was also hampered by the redirection of feedstock natural gas to heating purposes during the winter season in
Meanwhile, the country would add more than 2m tonnes/year in methanol capacity in 2011, market sources said.
Asian market players said they were not expecting much impact from
Methanol prices in
In the Indian market, meanwhile, price movement would hinge on the frequency and quantity of Iranian shipments, market sources said.
The current methanol demand worldwide stands at more than 47m tonnes/year, with
($1 = €0.76)
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