– China buyers expect lower-priced May cargoes
– Southeast Asia supply seen tight in H1 May
Sentiment in the Chinese methanol market was bearish Wednesday as end-users anticipate an influx of Iranian cargoes in May. Offers for Middle Eastern cargoes fell from $305-$308/mt CFR China last week to $296/mt CFR China Wednesday, but buying interest was thin. Offers for Iranian cargoes were heard at a premium of 1.5% to formula price, but end-users were holding out for lower fixed-priced offers, trade sources said. Meanwhile, the gap between CFR China and CFR Southeast Asia widened to $44/mt, making re-exports from China to Southeast Asia possible again. In Southeast Asia, the lack of cargoes in the first half of May due to the delayed restart of some Middle East plants, kept prices firm. In India, domestic methanol cargoes were heard traded at Rupees 28/kg this week, compared with Rupees 26/kg last week, due to some vessel delays. However, some trade sources said fundamentals for May was balanced with ample cargoes arriving from Iran.
Asian methanol was assessed down $5/mt day on day at $290/mt CFR China Wednesday for cargoes delivered 20-50 days forward, below an offer seen for a May-arrival cargo at $296/mt CFR China. Domestic east China prices fell Yuan 40/mt to Yuan 2,385/mt Wednesday amid discussions heard at Yuan 2,380-2,390/mt. The CFR Southeast Asia marker was assessed at $334/mt Wednesday, unchanged day on day, below a selling indication of $335/mt CFR Southeast Asia and amid firm market fundamentals.