Outlook for US June methanol contracts split between roll, drop

23 May 2013 20:27  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The outlook for US June methanol contracts on Thursday appeared to be split between optimists hoping for a reduction and realists expecting a rollover from May.

May postings from Methanex (160 cents/gal) and Southern Chemical Corp (165 cents/gal) represented five-year highs for those companies, prompted by supply problems in Trinidad and plant turnarounds in Venezuela.

Methanol realists expect no change in either company’s posting for June, which should be issued next week.

“I think they have a cushion to bring these prices down, but I don’t think they’ll do it,” a buyer said. “I think they’re going to roll.”

Among the optimists, a seller pointed out that there were no supply shortages in place now.

Curtailments in Trinidad ended on 18 May and both Metor plants have restarted in Venezuela, he said.

And with at least 40,000 tonnes of methanol on its way from China to the US - and talk of more coming - US sellers could be long on material soon.

“I know it sounds crazy coming from a seller, but they could easily drop to 157-158 cents/gal and still be ahead,” he said.

US methanol spot barge bids and offers on Thursday ranged from 138-140 cents/gal, but sources said there was no trading being done.

Methanex and SCC historically have set the monthly contract range with their postings.

By: Lane Kelley
+1 713 525 2653

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