US methanol spot jumps 5 cents/gal; traders point to Trinidad

17 October 2012 23:05  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US methanol spot barge prices jumped more than 5 cents/gal on Wednesday, with most traders citing the supply situation in Trinidad as the most likely cause.

The bounce to 125 cents/gal gave spot methanol a rise of 11 cents/gal so far in October, with almost one-half of that move in one day. Earlier on Wednesday, traders confirmed deals done at 120 cents/gal, about where spot methanol closed last week.

“I assume it has to do with the curtailments and what’s going on in Trinidad,” a trader said. “I’m glad it’s going up, though.”

A second trader said he could not explain the move. “I’m just enjoying it while it lasts,” he said.

Natural gas curtailments have become routine over the past 18 months on the Caribbean island because of repair work being done on offshore platforms.

Earlier this month, state-owned utility National Gas Company (NGC) said the current natural gas cutback of 30% for October would be increased to 40% through 22-25 October.

Trinidad supplies 65-75% of US methanol imports in any given month, and the curtailments have reduced the country’s production of methanol, ammonia and other chemicals.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Lane Kelley
+1 713 525 2653

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