New Zealand is not mentioned in today’s report on the corporation’s first quarter earnings for 2004. However, it is known Methanex wants to keep the Taranaki plants operating, at least at partial capacity, for as long as it can as transport costs to the buoyant Asian markets are lower from New Zealand than from Chile or Trinidad
Methanex today reported net income of US$46.8 million and generated EBITDA of US$93.4 million for the first quarter, compared with US$27.72 million and EBITDA of US$81.6 million for the last 2003 quarter.
President Bruce Aitken said world methanol industry fundamentals continued to be very favourable, with an average realised price for the first quarter 2004 of US$220 per tonne, compared with US$204 per tonne for the previous quarter and US$223 per tonne for the first quarter 2003.
“We are optimistic that current favourable methanol market conditions will continue as we expect that the impact of planned new capacity additions during 2004 is likely to be largely offset by further shutdowns of high cost North American production and increased demand.”
He said Methanex expected the 1.7 million tonne Atlas, Trinidad, plant - in which it had a 63.1% interest - to start production during this current quarter. It also expected its 840,000 tonne Chilean expansion to be completed by early 2005.