US methanol buyers hope for rollover but fear increase in March

22 February 2013 22:02  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US methanol buyers on Friday were torn between their wishes for a rollover and expectations of an increase for the March contract, which should be out next week.

Even those who said they wanted no change in prices said some kind of increase seemed justified, considering the recent jump in spot values.

“I know the big players will want to raise it,” a buyer said, “but I’d be awfully disappointed if the contract goes up.”

Methanex and Southern Chemical Corp (SCC) typically set the US contract range with their postings, usually announced in the last days of the month.

Spot prices have jumped more than 10 cents/gal in the past month, now at 133-134.5 cents/gal, traders said on Friday.

Late January spot barge prices were in the 122-23 cents/gal range.

Spot prices made much of the jump in the past week, rising on what sources said was the lure of higher European values.

Another buyer who hoped for a rollover said there were no known plant or supply issues but acknowledged that, considering the rising spot range, producers could justify raising contracts by 1-2 cents/gal.

Another buyer predicted contracts would rise 2-7 cents/gal, based on the past month’s spot activity.

The gap between the spot range and the February contract range of 145-146 cents/gal for February is 11.75 cents/gal, which is the smallest gap since late October 2012.

($1 = €0.76)

By: Lane Kelley
+1 713 525 2653

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