US methanol contract prices almost reach 3-year high on outages

28 July 2011 23:22  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US methanol contract prices reached almost a three-year high for August as a result of plant outages, market sources said on Thursday.

Southern Chemical Corp (SCC) issued its posted price of 137 cents/gal, following Methanex’s 138 cents/gal price released on Wednesday.

The two companies typically set the monthly North American contract methanol prices.

Methanex posted a 10 cent increase for August over July, ending a streak of six straight monthly rollovers that began in February.

SCC posted an 11-cent increase.

Some buyers said they expected a hike because of planned and unplanned outages at Methanex’s Atlas plant in Trinidad. Also, buyers cited talk of another natural gas cutback there in August, though it was unconfirmed.

However, the amount of the increases came as a surprise to most buyers. One buyer said Methanex took advantage of the troubles at its Atlas plant.

“It’s a convenient opportunity for them to raise it 10-cents a gal,” a buyer said. “They do it because they can.”

The August methanol contract average of 137.5 cents gal is the highest since 143.25 cents/gal in November 2008.

($1 = €0.69)

For more on methanol, visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: Lane Kelley
+1 713 525 2653

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