ICIS publishes week reports on the methanol markets in Asia, China, Europe and the US. Our trusted and reliable independent reports cover contract and spot markets in Europe and the US, and spot activity in Asia and China.
Market news and intelligence are analysed by our reporters in each location, and the information is reflected in market commentaries that include overviews, regional updates, production news, crude oil developments, plant capacities, graphics and shipping information. These reports are a valuable tool to allow you to keep up-to-date and abreast of factors driving prices, and ensure you are fully informed while making commercial choices.
Updated to Q4 2019
Ample methanol supply in Asia received a slight reprieve in the fourth quarter, due to a few major plants’ unscheduled shutdowns. Most Asian markets remained well-supplied, and buyers had little need to purchase spot. China’s coastal inventories finally saw significant drawdowns during the quarter after levels were at record high levels for most of the year. Southeast Asia was the most affected by Petronas’ shutdown, but the supply tightness was not fully felt yet.
Demand did not see much change for most of the year and was relatively stable in the fourth quarter as well. Some buyers were concerned with taking in the remainder of their term allocations by the end of the year while others focused on new term discussions for 2020 at the start of the quarter, resulting in limited spot discussions. The southeast Asia minor ports also saw less demand from the key Indonesian biodiesel industry.
Supply swung from long to balanced and back again in the fourth quarter. Third-quarter maintenance in the Middle East and Russia failed to dent availability in Europe. Some US production disruption had little impact on European supply, despite some interest in exports. Inventories were healthy in key import and storage hub Rotterdam, with one source noting late in the quarter that its usual sellers were having difficulty placing spot volumes. Destocking was also taking place due to the year end.
Stable-to-weak demand contributed to spot prices remaining near a three-year low in the fourth quarter and limited extra spot buying interest came from end-users. By December, globally lengthy supply and weak European demand were underscored by year-end destocking. Europe’s economic pains drove weaker formaldehyde demand and the automotive downturn. Interest in exports was noted, including to the US, not usually typical from Europe’s mainland, though it has been seen from nearby origins such as Libya.
Supplies of US methanol were readily available to meet demand in Q4 despite some production issues at the country’s largest methanol facility. Despite stronger exports seen in early 2019, US methanol exports have tapered off. US methanol exports were seen as significantly lower in Q4 compared with the previous year, largely attributed to the global oversupply issues and market weakness.
US methanol demand was somewhat subdued in Q4, with the number of spot trades tapering off during the quarter. Spot prices in the US rebounded from the three-year lows seen mid-year, which was largely attributed to global oversupply and less a reflection of demand.
We offer the following regional Methanol analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the Methanol marketplace.
More information about the price reports we publish on Methanol
Independent price assessments and market coverage by region
More information about the historical price data we publish on Methanol
Track historical price data
News & market analysis specifically relating to Methanol
Breaking news of latest developments affecting the markets.
Insight and analysis of factors driving prices.
Regional price assessments, published daily or weekly, enabling you to keep track of trading prices, understand price drivers/fluctuations and set a benchmark for contract price settl ements. ICIS offers reports on over 180 commodities across the global petrochemical, energy and fertilizer markets. Information covered in our price reports includes:
Information is accessed online, via the ICIS dashboard service and is configurable to suit your preferences.
Produced by the ICIS Consulting team, these reports give a robust rolling 12-month price forecast, trade balances and in-depth analysis into where markets are heading – providing a valuable tool to support your short- to medium-term plans.
ICIS pricing intelligence is delivered to you online via the ICIS dashboard. Here you can view your reports and also access other useful services including related news, analysis, historical data and market alerts.
ICIS dashboard also makes it easy for you to create pricing charts, download price history and export data to create tailored analytical models.
ICIS weekly margin reports deliver the detail you need to understand how production costs and prices are affecting margins, enabling you to judge the likely impact on your business and optimise your upstream and downstream business decisions.
The Supply and Demand Window on the ICIS Dashboard provides a snapshot view of historical and forecast information for supply and demand, production capacity and trade flows – a key tool to help safeguard future investments within the chemicals market.
24-hour global coverage of breaking news in the petrochemical industry, including updates on production, shutdowns and key transacted deals, keeping you informed of market developments as they happen. The ICIS news service allows you to customise the market alerts delivered to your email inbox, providing the business-critical information you need straightaway.
An expert view of supply and demand comprising four fully-reconciled databases, giving you access to extensive data for more than 100 markets. Information is included on global and regional trade flows, production, capacity and sources of demand in the short-, medium- and long-term. Data can be downloaded, customised and queried to support your planning requirements and your strategic decisions.
ICIS provides specialist training courses across the global petrochemicals, base oils and fertilizers industries. Our training team of industry experts can help you increase your knowledge of the industry and gain the insight and know-how needed to operate and trade effectively.
Find out more about ICIS training courses >>
ICIS produces a series of highly informative and timely conferences. Extensive research is carried out to ensure that each programme delivers the information you need and addresses current industry issues. We source speakers who have the appropriate expertise and experience to deliver excellent quality papers.
Find out more about ICIS conferences >>
Working closely with you to understand your strategies, challenges and ambitions, the ICIS consulting team deliver tailored advice and solutions to suit your unique requirements. With many years’ experience of guiding business leadership teams, we show you how market conditions can make a positive or negative impact on your long-term plans.
ICIS expert consultants can provide your organisation with the insight, intelligence and data needed to build and grow your business in China. We can help you to gain a clear view on the short and long-term supply and demand picture in the chemicals, energy, iron and steel, non-ferrous metals and paper and pulp markets in China.
ICIS price assessments are based on information gathered from a wide cross-section of the market, comprising consumers, producers, traders and distributors from more than 250 reporters world-wide. Confirmed deals, verified by both buyer and seller, provide the foundation of our price assessments.
Our in-depth market knowledge drives our specialist focus, as we recognise the importance of individual market dynamics and not a one-size-fits-all approach.
Over 25 years of reporting on key chemicals markets, including Methanol, has brought global recognition of our methodology as being unbiased, authoritative and rigorous in preserving our editorial integrity. Our global network of reporters in Houston, London, Singapore, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Mumbai, Perth and Moscow ensures unrivalled coverage of established and emerging markets.
Methanol is primarily used to produce formaldehyde, methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) and acetic acid, with smaller amounts going into the manufacture of DMT, MMA, chloromethanes, methylamines, glycol methyl ethers and fuels.
Methanol is a colourless, volatile and flammable liquid with a characteristic odour. It is soluble in water, ethanol, ether and most organic solvents.
It is primarily used to produce formaldehyde, methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) and acetic acid, with smaller amounts going into the manufacture of DMT, MMA, chloromethanes, methylamines, glycol methyl ethers, and fuels.
Methanol is seeing growing demand in fuel applications such dimethyl ether (DME), biodiesel and the direct blending into gasoline.
It also has many general solvent and antifreeze uses, such as being a component for paint strippers, car windshield washer compounds and a deicer for natural gas pipelines.
Methanol can also be used to extract, wash, dry and crystallise pharmaceutical and agricultural chemicals.
SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s methanol market has disregarded the restart of Iranian methanol plant - Zagros Petrochemical’s methanol Plant 1- and continues to remain bearish as a result of deadly...Read
LONDON (ICIS)--The inaugural ICIS Rising Star Award, sponsored by England-based recruitment firm ABN Resource, was awarded on Wednesday to Simon Moizan, senior research engineer at Infineum France,...Read