HOUSTON (ICIS)--A Canadian brokerage analyst reduced Methanex's annual earnings estimate by 16% because of natural gas cutbacks in Egypt and Trinidad and the continuing drop in methanol prices, according to a report released on Thursday.
Steve Hansen at Raymond James in Vancouver reduced his estimate of Methanex's full-year 2014 earnings to $4.44/share compared with the previous $5.29/share.
Hansen cited "lingering near-term headwinds associated with falling/volatile methanol prices, and recent operational challenges associated with gas supply, most notably in Egypt."
Methanex said this week that its plant in Damietta, Egypt would be shut down until the end of July because of gas restrictions related to peak summer electricity demand. The shut down began on 12 June; Hansen estimated that it would last six weeks.
A similar outage occurred in late August of 2012, when the government shut off the plant's natural gas supply because of electricity outages and rolling brown-outs.
Hansen also cited another gas curtailment in Trinidad reported this week.
US methanol contract prices fell again for July, marking the fourth straight drop in monthly prices.