US spot methanol falls back to pre-Egypt range on declining crude

18 November 2011 18:07  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US spot methanol fell back to week-ago levels on Friday as crude oil prices continued to slip.

Sources said US spot methanol dropped to $1.08-1.11/gal, about where it was on Friday last week, 11 November.

That was before a big jump on Monday and Tuesday pushed spot prices as high as $1.19/gal following Methanex’s closing of a plant in Egypt because of environmental protests there. The spot range slipped steadily on Wednesday and Thursday as crude prices dropped.

A trader said a large buyer drove the spot methanol price up, but that when crude started falling on Thursday there was no support for higher spot prices.

“There’s no fundamentals for higher spot,” the trader said. “How can you justify that when crude’s coming down?”

In Europe, traders said that Methanex was behind most of the spot deals this week, indicating that the producer needed to compensate for the lost Egyptian volumes with spot purchases to meet contractual supply obligations. Methanex declined to comment.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude continued to move lower on Friday, below $98/bbl in mid-morning trading. WTI pushed up over $103/bbl on Thursday, the highest point in almost five months, before reversing direction.

The methanol drop left a wider-than-usual gap between spot and contract prices. November's posted values of $1.35-1.38/gal are 27 cents/gal higher than the spot range.

($1 = €0.74)

For more about methanol visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: Lane Kelley
+1 713 525 2653

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