Methanol Prices (Q1 2022)
The methanol market in China was weak in the beginning of the year 2022 with prices close to 2395 RMB/MT. However, the prices witnessed an upward trend by the end of January rising gradually to above 2670 RMB/MT. This upward trend in methanol prices continued in February and prices reached to 2762 RMB/MT. This was followed by a sharp decline in prices by the month end which observed prices to drop below 2670 RMB/MT. In March 2022, the industrial methanol prices gained momentum and began to rise steadily. Within the first two weeks of the month, the prices soared above 3129 RMB/MT. The prices came down for a short while in the following days, dropping close to 2762 RMB/MT but again picked up pace within a few days and remained above 3000 RMB/MT till the end of the quarter.
Methanol Prices (Q4 2021)
In India, peak demand for methanol was noted in this quarter, when prices soared to 652 USD/MT ex-Delhi NCR. Prices had started to fall in most parts of Asia since then. Feedstock with low value Natural gas had kept the prices in the region under pressure. The chemical is primarily imported from the Middle East in India, and traders had noticed a sharp drop in its offers as its major manufacturers continued to implement negative price revisions in line with feedstock values. The pricing trend of methanol showed an upward trajectory during the last week of December as Ex-works Mumbai prices rose to 418 USD/MT on December 28th, 2021. Due to significant demand from downstream industries, several Asian producers raised their prices. Increased natural gas pricing and usage had a favourable impact on the price fluctuations of methanol in the country. Improved trading activity in the Asian market had also helped the Indian pricing trend.
Prices were rising in Q4 due to increased demand in the downstream industry. Fears about a new COVID-19 subtype discovered in Southern Africa sparked market volatility in November, sending stocks soaring across the board. Prices had risen, with an Ex-Works Louisiana price of 645 USD/MT published on November 19th. The usage of the chemical in the vehicle sector was expected to increase towards the end of Q4 2021. As its demand as a fuel increased, so did the sales revenue of the two major US Methanol marketers, Methanex and Southern Chemical.
Prices in Germany were seen to be increasing in Q4 till the 22nd of October, with a price range of 575 USD/MT to 604 USD/MT CFR Hamburg. The company's downstream MTBE and Acetic Acid products remained in high demand. Because domestic output was insufficient to meet demand, imports were further hampered by significant increases in freight costs. Prices began to fall in November, and on November 26, they fell to 550 USD/MT CFR Hamburg. This trend was caused by excess methanol production in the region combined with a weak downstream demand. The price momentum was evident in December, when European contract prices were negotiated at 556 USD/MT, with spot prices in Rotterdam finishing more than 5% higher.
In the last quarter, the market recorded the lowest price in Mexico on December 7, 280 USD/MT. The Brazilian market remained at 210 USD/MT.
Methanol Prices (Q1-Q3 2021)
Throughout the first quarter of 2021, Asian supply was constrained, and prices were first increased in January and February before falling until the conclusion of the quarter. The shift in costs was caused by a number of factors, one of which was the Chinese Lunar Holidays, which impacted overall production in the country, resulting in lower inventory levels and shortages around the region. Another factor was the rise in European methanol prices, which in February were close to 430 USD/MT. Furthermore, Methanex, a global producer, announced the closure of its Waitara Valley production facility in New Zealand, citing commercial losses as the reason for the shutdown.
During the third quarter, prices in the Asia Pacific region rose, followed by stable offtakes from downstream sectors despite tight supply conditions. Methanol's increasing trend in Asia reached a new high in the last week of September, with China and India providing the majority of the driving force. Furthermore, because the chemical is mostly produced in China via the coal route, steady increases in coal costs since the beginning of Q3 had put upward pressure on its fundamentals in the regional market. Participants procured the cargoes from the Middle East during the local scarcity, resulting in a large increase in methanol prices in the country. Prices in India continued to rise in Q3 due to restricted availability of the product in the local market, primarily in Northeast Asia. They increased little in the third quarter, rising from 422 USD/MT to 449 USD/MT.
Methanol supply in Europe remained limited, despite mild demand from the domestic market. Due to many plant failures across North America, imports were kept to a bare minimum in the region. Because of the high import demand from various Asian nations, the local price surged in the first part of the quarter, but then began to decline as supply began to improve.
Demand stayed high in Q3 of 2021, owing to a scarcity of raw materials and restricted local production. Imports from the United States were limited since a key plant, YCI, did not begin manufacturing methanol until the third quarter. Furthermore, OCIS's plant in the Netherlands was operating at full capacity. In September, prices jumped to 475 USD/MT CFR Hamburg. The pricing was projected to grow even more in Q4 as a result of restricted international imports and rising demand. Several participants, however, believed that rising imports from the United States would help to stabilise supplies.
Due to a winter storm that swept through the Gulf of Mexico, North America had a major shortage of methanol and numerous other chemicals. Production in Texas was completely halted, while some plants in Louisiana were forced to shut down. The storm interrupted close to 90% of North America's total methanol production in mid-April, according to estimates. Furthermore, due to several facility closures, imports from South America remained low. Mitsubishi's Metanol de Oriente plant in Venezuela, which has a capacity of 750,000 MT per year, had a turnaround in January. In addition, Methanex decided to keep its factory in Trinidad, which had a production capacity of 600,000 MT, shut down indefinitely. Contract price finalised by Methanex Corp., extended strong gains.
During Q3 2021, the overall pricing outlook for methanol increased significantly in the North American region. Hurricane Ida, which made landfall on August 29th in Louisiana, caused the shutdown of leading industrial plants including Methanex's Geismar plants with a capacity of 1 MMT/year and YCI's St. James Methanol facility with a capacity of 1.7 MMT/year. Methanex's Geismar plant was shut down for the majority of September, resulting in a tight supply during the quarter. Spot prices in the first week of October were 610 USD/MT Ex-Works Louisiana, up 12.5% from the end of August.
Brazil's price remained the same at 210 USD/MT in 2021. Prices in Mexico were highly volatile, with an overall increase. In Mexico, prices rose from 330 USD/MT to 370 USD/MT, with the lowest price recorded at 280 USD/MT on December 7th, then remaining stable at 370 USD/MT. The Mexican market was highly affected by the American methanol market.
Methanol Prices Overview 2020
Despite reduced Middle Eastern supply, the Asian market remained volatile. Despite the lifting of lockdown restrictions in various economies at the end of Q2 2020, export volumes to Southeast Asia remained affected by the pandemic. Slowing demand from the downstream formaldehyde and solvent sectors, which account for the majority of regional demand, resulted in rising stockpiles at Indian, Thai, and Singapore ports. Spot prices in China hit new lows in June, owing to a surge in imported cargoes that pushed margins further lower. Although the country appeared to be recovering from the effects of the pandemic, downstream demand has yet to return to pre-pandemic levels. In December, price in Asia was recorded at 350 USD/MT.
The price in 2020 in Germany was estimated at 240 USD/MT in January and 260 USD/MT in December. The lowest price was recorded in August, at 276 USD/MT. It was because of the overall demand in the market for industries like downstream formaldehyde and solvent sectors during covid restrictions. Overall, the market lost value compared to the previous year.
Coronavirus harmed the North American Methanol industry's Q2 demand outlook, which was mostly influenced by weakening dynamics in the US market. Prices on the US Gulf Coast fell to nearly four-year lows, as the country continued to lead the globe in terms of infection rates. While downstream demand remained basically unchanged from April, reduced gasoline blending due to weaker demand fundamentals worsened the price decline. Several US companies, like as Celanese and LyondellBasell, had lowered their annual capex plans and postponed their tentative plant expansions as a result of the continuing market dullness.
In 2020, Brazilian prices were unstable from January to June, fluctuating between 260 USD/MT and 285 USD/MT, following which they remained stable from June to December at 210 USD/MT. It was due to market dullness seen in the American methanol industry due to COVID.
Procurement Resource provides latest prices of Methanol. Each price database is tied to a user-friendly graphing tool dating back to 2014, which provides a range of functionalities: configuration of price series over user defined time period; comparison of product movements across countries; customisation of price currencies and unit; extraction of price data as excel files to be used offline.
Procurement Resource provides prices of Methanol for several regions around the globe, which are as follows:
Methanol, a polar solvent, is a colourless, reasonably volatile liquid. It has a faintly sweet pungent odour like that of ethyl alcohol. It can be thoroughly dissolved in water. The vapours of Methanol are slightly heavier than air. Chemical Formula of Methanol:
The production process of Methanol starts from syn gas. The process requires proper conditions such as high pressure and moderate temperatures where carbon monoxide and hydrogen react over a catalyst such as a mixture of copper and zinc oxides to produce methanol.
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The displayed pricing data is derived through weighted average purchase price, including contract and spot transactions at the specified locations unless otherwise stated. The information provided comes from the compilation and processing of commercial data officially reported for each nation (i.e. government agencies, external trade bodies, and industry publications).
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