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Methanex Corporation Q1 2010 Earnings Call Transcript

Firstly, I'm pleased to report an improvement in our results from the first quarter. We sold 1.7 million tons of methanol, representing a 12% increase over the last quarter, and our highest volume of quarterly sells since the second quarter of 2007. This increase (inaudible) and anticipation of increased production volumes in Egypt and Chile. In the first half of 2010, we are managing our supply balances by increasing purchases of methanol, but expect that the next two years will become less dependent on purchases and supply more sells with produced product.

During the first quarter, we achieved an average realized price of $305 per ton, which is $23 per ton higher than last quarter. And this led to higher EBITDA of $81.5 million and net income of $29 million or $0.31 per share.

There were a couple of factors that caused that earnings to be lower than normal and lower than the consensus forecast of $0.42. Firstly, our stock-based compensation was about $0.08 per share higher than it would have been in a quarter in which our share price did not increase. We also have higher (inaudible) compensation in the first quarter each year due to accounting rules. Secondly, one of the factors that are difficult for analysts to estimate is the level of sales from produced methanol. We make a significant margin on produced methanol that at a much more modest measure than purchased methanol. So it's small changes in sells of produced methanol can have a substantial impact on our results. So despite achieving higher production in the first quarter, the benefit of this is not yet being reflected in our earnings as our sells of produced methanol were a little over net production in Q1. If sells were the same as production in Q1, this would have improved earnings by a further $0.05 per share.

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