10 February 2012 21:30 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US methanol imports in 2011 increased by 7% to 6.92bn litres compared with 6.44bn litres in 2010, according to data released on Friday by the US International Trade Commission (ITC).
The top exporter to the US – Trinidad and Tobago – increased its shipments about 2%, shipping 4.75bn litres, compared with 4.67bn litres in 2010.
The tiny island country off the coast of Venezuela accounted for 69% of US imports last year, which has been the approximate percentage for years.
The gains in US 2011 imports came from Venezuela and Canada.
The South American country increased its methanol shipments by 34% to 1.1bn litres, compared with 830.3m litres in 2010. Venezuela accounted for 16% of US methanol imports, according to the ITC data.
Canada became a significant source of methanol for the US with the restart of a Methanex plant in Medicine Hat, Alberta, in April. That plant boosted Canada’s US shipments to 131.34m litres, compared with only 5.66m litres in 2010.
Canada accounted for only about 2% of US methanol imports, but that percentage should increase for the full year 2012 because the Alberta plant missed four months of operations in 2010.
Equatorial Guinea shipped 462.5m litres, accounting for almost 7% of US imports.
US methanol sellers include Methanex, BP, SABIC and Southern Chemical.
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