10 May 2013 17:48 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US methanol spot barge range has dropped 4.5 cents/gal this week on selling in an attempt to close the arbitrage between China and American spot prices, sources said on Friday.
Traders today pegged the range at 141-143 cents/gal, saying the last deals done for May delivery were on Thursday at 141 cents/gal.
US spot barge prices closed a week ago at 146-147 cents/gal.
The discount between China and the US hit a five-year high recently, highlighted by three shipments totaling 40,000 tonnes coming from China to Texas.
For a seller, the arbitrage between the two countries currently favours the US spot barge price average of 142 cents/gal, which converts to $474/tonne (€365/tonne).
Spot prices in China run nearly $120/tonne less, with the CFR China spot price now ranging $350-365/tonne, according to ICIS.
Two large Asian firms, Mitsui and Sinochem, chartered two of the shipments, according to information from brokers. There was also talk linking methanol producers to the shipments, but it could not be confirmed.
($1 = €0.77)
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