US methanol spot jump of 4-5 cents/gal baffles buyers, sellers

13 November 2013 22:07  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--A 4-5 cents/gal jump in US methanol spot barge prices this week baffled sources who were contacted about the move on Wednesday.

The spot barge range jumped up to 162.0-163.0 cents/gal this week from a close last week at 157.5-158.5 cents/gal, but sources said they did not understand the move.

The onset of winter weather in the US northeast and an increase in windshield washer fluid – which uses methanol – might explain a slight gain in spot prices. But sources said the rise of almost 5 cents/gal was a surprise.

Sources said they knew of no plant news that was pushing prices up.

“I’ve had three calls today with people wanting, begging really, for anything they can get,” a seller said. “I can’t understand it.”

A trader said the higher price was attractive. “I’d like to sell into this, if I had anything to sell.”

Spot barge prices have increased 14% since late September on a number of supply issues and heavy buying by suppliers.

Contract prices reached a five-year high in November, with postings at 174-180 cents/gal, up 9% over the October monthly numbers.

($1 = €0.74)

By: Lane Kelley
+1 713 525 2653

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