Europe methanol spot in contango on low August liquidity

Source: ICIS News

2018/08/10

LONDON (ICIS)--European methanol spot prices fell, creating an unexpected contango with September which was attributed to low liquidity.

The spot range moved down €2/tonne on the low and €10/tonne on the high to €348-352/tonne FOB (free on board) Rotterdam.

Europe spot vs contract, €/tonne

A downturn in August values, to €348/tonne, led to a slight contango with September which was at €350-352/tonne.

August is usually a quiet month, so this was put down to a dip in liquidity and the holiday season rather than any fundamental expectation September will be tighter.

What could be a tightening or perhaps a balancing factor, is if the Rhine water levels increase and this frees up material to flow out of the storage hub at Rotterdam.

Last week's lift may have been the result of uncertainty about price direction and availability amid the Rhine-led logistical issues.

A weaker euro dragged down European levels versus the key Chinese import market. This is important because it drives the decision-making of Middle Eastern suppliers, who can choose to send material to the highest-paying region.