European methanol spot prices hit highest level since Jan 2008

30 August 2013 17:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European methanol spot prices increased this week and reached their highest levels since January 2008 on Friday, according to ICIS data.

The price range for the week was €367-373/tonne ($483-491/tonne) FOB (free on board) Rotterdam.

There was no clear reason for the increase, with many participants suspecting a production problem, but none of the rumours heard were substantiated.

The strong buying activity of certain producers fuelled fears of a production problem, and other players appeared to speculate on the upward trend continuing by purchasing material at these high levels.

One producer that had been active on the buy side said the reason had simply been an increase in demand from a number of its customers, particularly bio-diesel producers.

Biodiesel production economics have been healthy throughout the summer, along with those for other energy applications, such as methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE).

Because the reasons for the price increase are not completely clear, several sources suggested it could ease off in the next few weeks. However, there are very few players who feel prices could significantly decrease before the end of the year.

Suppliers and consumers alike said demand has been largely stable, if not slightly firming, and this is expected to remain the case throughout the fourth quarter.

($1 = €0.76)

By: Ross Yeo
+44 208 652 3214

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