US Methanol Exports Set New Record Early in 2016

There has been an upward trend in United States exports of methanol for several months with shipments in both January and February 2016 at new record levels.

Year to date through February 2016, the US exported 251,000 tons of methanol, up 892% from small volumes in the same period of 2015. Over 80% of the total year to date was shipped to Western European destinations. Less than 1000 tons went to China.

While US exports trended higher, US imports trended lower, volume through February 2016 down 36%, to 480,000 tons, product sourced primarily from Trinidad/Tobago and Venezuela, both with declines.

The same trends in North America’s imports and exports were evident through most of last year.

Other global trends in 2015 included a 21% increase in Middle East exports, to over 12 million tons, mainly on higher volumes to Asia-Pacific but also gains to Western Europe, Eastern Europe and North America. (China’s imports in 2015 from the Middle East, mainly Iran, Oman and Saudi Arabia, were 4.4 million tons, up 28%, out of a total shipped by the Middle East of 5.5 million tons. China’s imports through February 2016 were 1.1 million tons, up 35%. About 700,000 tons of this was from the Middle East.)

Latin America’s exports were up 3% in 2015, to over 5 million tons, but there was a major shift in where the region shipped product. Much lower volumes to North America were offset largely by a more than 100% jump in shipments to Western Europe plus small volumes to Asia-Pacific.

From: International Trader Publications’ Methanol World Trade Report. For a free trial to this Report email your request to: