ICIS publishes weekly 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 Q1 2021
Chinese and Iranian production was able to recover from winter’s gas curtailment before the end of the first quarter, though increased imports from Iran were likely to only arrive in China in the second quarter. The restart of European plants also meant less competition for Asian buyers. India received Venezuelan material for the first time in decades. In southeast Asia, unexpected plant incidents resulted in supply tightness that saw buyers turning to China for volumes.
Demand was slightly improved due to increased downstream margins, with methanol prices reacting less than other petrochemicals to the crude recovery. The India market saw robust spot demand for most of the quarter and the price premium it had over other Asian markets, especially China, saw the first Venezuelan purchases in decades. Spot demand emerged in southeast Asia due to unexpected plant issues. Chinese spot demand remained slow with domestic prices lagging behind international prices.
The methanol market was extremely tight at the start of 2021 due to a number of planned and unplanned global shutdowns. However, supply improved over the quarter as Equinor returned from its unplanned shutdown and global production largely resumed. SIgnificant imports were rneeded to satisfy demand while Equinor shut down. Meanwhile, Russian producer Tomet continued to run at 50% capacity, while Socar’s shutdown lasted longer than planned.
Spot demand was particularly strong in January but declined over February and March as availability improved. Buyers were largely satisfied with contracted volumes and as spot prices were mostly unattractive, spot demand became sluggish over Q1. This led spot prices to soften in March. Demand from methanol derivatives was mixed, with formaldehyde performing well, while seasonality led to lower demand from fuel applications.
Supplies were cut in the US following the winter storm that shut down majority of the production in Texas. While restarts did not take as long as other downstream markets, there was a significant decline in available product. The decline in product availability in Q1 followed significant cuts throughout 2020 in the regional methanol markets due to economic factors.
Following the winter storm in February, downstream demand slowly rebuilt and the usage of methanol increased. But no significant downstream demand recovery took in the market during the quarter.
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.
LONDON (ICIS)--The ICIS Petrochemical Index (IPEX) went up slightly in May, rising by 3.6% month on month, tracking price increases seen across most of the major petrochemical and plastics...Read
LONDON (ICIS)--After a volatile year, global methanol market conditions are seeing signs of stability. Despite high coronavirus cases, the Indian market remains bullish, while China and other parts...Read