Is Asia still the biggest target market for methanol trade?
Methanol is a heavily traded chemical commodity in the Asian market, a target market for most international methanol suppliers. Methanol import picture in China, on the bottom diagram to the left, China imported over 10 million metric tons of methanol in 2021, which counts for 20% of the domestic methanol consumption.
Iran takes a certain lead. We must note that UAE volume and at least 80% of the home volume in the past two years were probably Iranian volume is relabeled. The majority of import cargo eventually goes to the MTO pool in China. Most domestic market producers in China are in the middle of the new round of Iranian cargo contract negotiation for Q4 supply. Starting from Q2 this year, methanol from Russia has kept flowing into the Asian market and spread to Indian and Chinese markets. Some methanol cargos from other regions which used to supply the Indian market now must be placed into the Southeast Asia market. Methanol export volume has declined in Southeast Asia in the last five years, increasing regional demand.
Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS, a Dow Jones Company