TECHNOLOGY U.S. methanol industry couldn't keep up with rising demand in 1994

Edward J. SwainConsultantHouston U.S. methanol producers averaged a utilization factor of only 68% during 1994. The production difficulties that contributed to this poor performance, along with rising demand, pushed contract methanol prices to record levels in December 1994. Additional capacity and improved operations should cause contract methanol prices to stabilize at about 55-60/gal as the supply/demand balance improves. Production U.S. methanol production has increased 116% in the last 10 years (Fig. 1)(82344 bytes). Even at this increased production rate, however, supplies satisfied only 75% of demand in 1994. The production of three chemicals accounts for 72% of U.S. meth...

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