14 February 2013 23:22 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US methanol spot barge prices have jumped 5.5 cents/gal in the past week on what some sources suspect are the lure of higher prices in Europe, sources said on Thursday.
Methanol spot barge prices rose to 131-133 cents/gal (€0.97-0.98/gal), sources said. A week ago, on 7 February, spot barge prices finished at 126-127 cents/gal.
Some buyers and traders said they were baffled by the jump, but the consensus appeared to be that higher prices in Europe were pulling up US values.
The boost started earlier this month in Europe with a round of speculative spot trades, followed by the European Q1 methanol contract settling at a €30/tonne increase.
“This is going to be gone in a week,” a source said of the US spot rise. “Other than that, I don’t know of any issues anywhere.”
Sources said LyondellBasell took down its methanol plant near Houston earlier this month for a planned maintenance turnaround that was still in progress. Company spokesman David Harpole said he could not comment.
Sources said plants in Trinidad appeared to be running full-out, with no issues there.
US methanol sellers include Methanex, BP, SABIC and Southern Chemical.
($1 = €0.74)
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