19 August 2011 20:12 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Methanol trading appeared to be the cause of a 4% jump in US spot barge prices for the material this week, but the reason for the increase remained unanswered, sources said on Friday.
Spot barge prices for methanol jumped 5 cents/gal on Thursday to 122-123 cents/gal from 117-118 cents/gal on Wednesday.
One common explanation attributed the rise to outages at methanol plants in Venezuela, though sources close to the units said they were running at 100% capacity. Sources also pointed to Mitsubishi as a buyer.
“There seems to be no real reason for the spike,” one source said, “but I think Mitsubishi was caught short in other regions.”
The Metor 1 (750,000 tonnes/year) and Metor 2 (850,000 tonnes/year) plants in Venezuela are owned by a joint venture between Mitsubishi Gas Chemical, Mitsubishi Corp and Pequiven, the South American country’s state-controlled petrochemical producer.
Mitsubishi did not immediately return calls on the buying.
Sources close to the two Metor plants said the units were running at 100% capacity, but would not confirm that the producer had purchased material this week.
Both Metor plants had maintenance turnarounds earlier this year. A source close to the plants said no further maintenance was scheduled until March 2012.
A producer confirmed selling one barge load for 123 cents/gal for August delivery. Sources said the buyer was Mitsubishi.
($1 = €0.69)
For more on methanol, visit ICIS Chemical Intelligence
For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.
Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.
|ICIS news FREE TRIAL|
|Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index|
Asian Chemical Connections