US February methanol imports drop 17% year on year

13 April 2012 20:40  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US methanol imports in February fell by 17% year to year because of a decline in cargoes from two of its largest suppliers, Trinidad and Tobago and Equatorial Guinea, according to data released on Friday by the US International Trade Commission (ITC).

US methanol imports totalled 445.9m litres, compared with 537.3m litres in the same month of 2011.

But shipments from the top exporter to the US – Trinidad and Tobago – fell 9% to 291.4m litres compared with 319.6m litres in February 2011, reflecting the ongoing natural gas curtailment in that country that has reduced methanol production.

The island country off the coast of Venezuela accounted for 65% of US imports in February.

Equatorial Guinea sent no methanol shipments to the US in February, compared with 52.3m litres in the same month last year.

Atlantic Methanol Production, which has a 1m tonne/year plant there, would not comment. Methanol sources said the unit was undergoing maintenance in February.

The west African country’s 52.1m litres shipped in January represented no change from its shipments during the same period of 2011. Equatorial Guinea historically has accounted for 7-10% of US methanol imports.

Venezuela increased its methanol shipments to the US by 1% to 115.9m litres, compared with 114.34m litres. The South American country accounted for 26% of US methanol imports in February.

US methanol sellers include Methanex, BP, SABIC and Southern Chemical.

By: Lane Kelley
+1 713 525 2653

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