Methanol Market Prospects For Global Producers

Jul 5th, 2017

On 20-21 June CREON Chemicals and Methanol Market Services Asia (MMSA) held XII international conference “Methanol 2017” devoted to the problem of methanol production, advanced technologies and new projects in this area and the issues of supply and demand across the globe. Air Liquide and Agency COMMUNICATIONS were the partners of the event.

Global methanol market has been successfully developing after 2009. The capacity utilisation has now peaked and the problem, according to the experts, can be solved through the expansion of methanol consumption.

Wolfgang Seuser, MMSA Vice President in Europe, analysed the current situation at the methanol market with the focus on the near-time prospects for methanol producers. In 2016 methanol consumption was estimated at 80 million tonnes. However, the reporter expects that the demand will show a positive momentum within the next five years and by 2021 global demand for methanol will reach 117 million tonnes. This will be facilitated by the expansion in the number of methanol projects and the growing demand from senile industries.

Asia, in particular, China, will remain a key methanol consumer in the globe. In 2006 the Chinese consumption was accounted for 50 million tonnes and by the end of the forecast period, it will have increased up to 80 million tonnes. On the whole, in 2019 Asian methanol production will reach its maximum and the deficiency of the feedstock for national industries will be compensated from abroad. Seuser noted that Logistics Support projects are extremely popular in China. Moreover, many of the contracted projects have been successfully implemented. As a result, China produces over 5 million tonnes of olefins and in 2018 they are expected to produce nearly 9 million tonnes. Current projects consume approximately 12.5 million tonnes of methanol and by 2019 the consumption will have grown up to 21 million tonnes.

As to the U.S., for the first time in the worldwide methanol history, it has become the exporter of methanol. Next year the U.S. demand is expected to reach 8.5 million tonnes while the methanol supply will comprise 9 million tonnes.

CIS methanol production exhibits a downward trend – minus 12% in 2016 while the demand in these countries has grown by 28%.

Seuser predicts that the price cost for methanol will be influenced by the prices at Asian markets and the setting-up of new capacities in the U.S.