Methanex Soars on Renewed Argentine Natural Gas Exports

Methanex Corp. (MX), a Canadian maker of methanol, surged the most in four years after Argentina resumed natural gas exports to its plants in Chile.

Methanex rose 6.3 percent to C$42.61 at 10:57 a.m. in Toronto. Shares of the Vancouver-based company earlier jumped as much as 16 percent, the steepest intraday gain since 2009.

The company began receiving gas supplies from Argentina in March under an agreement that it would sell methanol produced from the gas back to the South American nation, Methanex said in a statement yesterday after the close of trading. The resumption of shipments increases the probability of getting even more gas over the longer term, according to Steven Hansen, a Vancouver- based analyst at Raymond James.

“The fact that the Argentines are willing to resume shipments bodes well for Methanex’s remaining methanol plants in Chile,” James said. “It’s a positive sign that Argentina is willing to do business again.”

Before supplies resumed in March, Methanex hadn’t received gas from Argentina since 2007, Sandra Daycock, its director of investor relations, said by telephone.

Methanex is in the process of moving two of its four methanol plants in Chile to Geismar, Louisiana, because of insufficient supplies of gas in Chile.

Natural gas is used to make methanol, a substance used in the manufacture of everything from windshield-wiper fluid to paint and transportation fuel.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christopher Donville in Vancouver at cjdonville@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Casey at scasey4@bloomberg.net

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