Social public events have brought obvious impact on both sides of the methanol spot market supply and demand. At present, it is still in the process of gradual recovery, and the main futures contracts have been oscillating for nearly a month.
In terms of supply, the inventory pressure of domestic methanol manufacturers is obvious, and the effective operation rate of domestic methanol plants has dropped to 64%. During this period, inventory in Northwest China rose to about 381000 tons, up nearly 73% from January. At the same time, there are some problems in the market, such as the supply of raw coal, etc. the starting load in Northwest China has declined significantly, and there are also devices in Shandong, Henan, Anhui and other places that have been shut down in succession. At present, with the recovery of logistics, the inventory pressure in the mainland has to be eased temporarily.
In terms of import, from February 28 to March 15, China’s methanol forecast is about 500000 tons. Foreign Iran ZPC 1.65 million tons and 2.3 million tons are still in shutdown, and Petronas oil 2.42 million tons is still unstable. At present, Iran’s gas limit has ended and supply will resume. In terms of price, the price difference between China and the United States, Europe and India is weak. Compared with Southeast Asia, China has certain advantages. The import profit is about 70 yuan / ton, which is in the middle of 2019. Overall, the methanol import volume in March may increase compared with that in February, but it may not be too large.
In terms of demand, after the recovery of transportation, a small number of large units began to operate at low load. As of March 5, the operating rate of formaldehyde units was 20.05%, up 4.05% from the lowest in February. Some formaldehyde enterprises purchased low-cost methanol for replenishment. In terms of acetic acid, the stock pressure is obvious after the festival. Henan Longyu and other enterprises have increased the stock and stopped, with the operating rate of 77.71%, and the terminal demand is still relatively low, so acetic acid will remain weak. Affected by the decline of crude oil, MTBE prices fell sharply to the lowest level in several years, and the shipment was not smooth. The average operating rate was about 36%, nearly 40% lower than before the festival. The demand for olefins has picked up slightly. Under the pressure of finished product inventory in the first ten days, MTO starts to decline to 73%. At present, after the recovery of logistics, the start-up of Shandong units has increased. Some units in the northwest have been raised to full load production, and the overall start-up rate has increased to about 77%.
Before the recovery of logistics, the demand in Northwest China was low and methanol continued to be weak. Until the middle of February, the transaction price was basically between 1550-1650 yuan / ton. The overall supply and demand of East China and South China are weak, the logistics blocked goods source is reduced, and the import volume is about 700000 tons, which is also relatively small. In this context, due to the slow recovery of demand, the inventory is still accumulated. As of February 27, the total inventory of East China and South China ports is 765500 tons, up about 150000 tons from the beginning of the month. With the recovery of logistics, the arbitrage window between the East and the West was opened, the shipment in the northwest region was smooth, the price in Guanzhong region increased to 1700 yuan / ton, and the price in Inner Mongolia region also increased by about 100 yuan. However, the weakness of East China and South China continued. By the end of February, the spot price in Guangdong had dropped to around 1980 yuan / ton. After March, the price of production area also declined. As of March 5, the price in Shanxi was about 17200 yuan / ton. With the gradual recovery of logistics, the overall market is relatively light, and regional differences in spot goods will slow down.
To sum up, methanol market is difficult to have obvious driving force in the short term, and will be dominated by weak oscillation operation. The future market will focus on whether overseas social public events will have a greater impact on imports.