Further price declines expected for India’s import methanol

04 April 2014 12:18 Source:ICIS News

India’s import prices for methanol are expected to fall for the twelfth consecutive week, market sources said on Friday.

Many players said, with import prices reaching $350-370/tonne CFR (cost and freight) India last week, there was no end in sight yet of the downward trend.

Sources said the influx of material had not stopped, creating an oversupply situation. Several vessels are expected to arrive at India’s west coast port by next week.

There was no full clarity on the deals, offers and bids in the market during the week and a variety of indications were available in the market, depending on players’ position. However, the one fact all players agreed on was that the Indian methanol market was down and was likely to remain down, at least for the coming weeks.

Offers heard in the market were quoted at at $320-335/tonne CFR India, at least $15-30/tonne lower than the previous week’s assessed range for April parcels.

An importer was said to have bought 12,000 tonnes at $315-325/tonne CFR India (indications varied according to market players) for early-mid April loading. The buyer did not confirm the transaction. The seller was not available for confirmation because of new year holiday season in the country. Market participants in Iran are expected to return to the market on 5 April.

Bids indicated in the market were at $300-320/tonne CFR India.

Market participants said the outlook for methanol imports remained bleak. Sellers are said to be under pressure to liquidate their rising inventory, but buyers are wary of stockpiling material and only purchase on a need-to-basis.

By Fahima Khail