Methanex Advances on Resumption of Gas Accord

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

The Vancouver-based company rose 10 percent to C$44.09 in Toronto, the biggest one-day gain since February 2009.

The company began receiving gas from Argentina in March, Methanex said in a statement yesterday after the close of trading. Under a so-called tolling agreement, the South American nation receives methanol produced from the gas in return. The resumption of gas shipments under the tolling accord 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.

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