Methanex nominates 138 cents/gal for August US methanol, up 8%

27 July 2011 18:50  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Methanex on Wednesday nominated 138 cents/gal for the August US methanol contract, its third largest contract hike in two years.

The 10 cent/gal increase is almost 8% over Methanex’s July nomination, and came after six straight months of rollovers at 126–128 cents/gal.

Some buyers and traders were shocked, as they had expected a smaller increase based on recent plant and gas supply problems in Trinidad.

“I figured they would go for a nickel [5 cents/gal],” a larger buyer said. “But this, wow.”

One buyer attributed the nomination mostly to recent planned and unplanned outages at Methanex’s 1.7m tonnes/year Atlas plant in Trinidad and talk of more gas curtailments there.

A source in Trinidad close to National Gas, the country’s state-owned gas supplier, said there were no planned curtailments for August.

A buyer said the upcoming 10–25% gas curtailment would stem from work being done by a methanol producer on the National Gas grid in Trinidad.

Gas curtailments have plagued methanol and ammonia plants at the Point Lisas chemical complex for most of this year, with the last curtailment ending in May.

The August nomination represents one of Methanex’s largest contract hikes in two years, and the largest since it nominated a raise of 25 cents/gal in November 2010.

Methanex and Southern Chemical Corp (SCC) typically have set the monthly North American contract methanol range with their nominations. SCC has not issued its nomination yet.

Historically, methanol prices have tracked crude values over the long term. Oil prices have jumped 14% since February – when the methanol contract last changed – but crude oil in July has increased by only about 3%.

($1 = €0.69)

For more on methanol visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: Lane Kelley
+1 713 525 2653

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