19 March 2009 05:28 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Japanese aromatics producer, Nippon Oil, plans to keep its Mizushima-based toluene disproportionation (TDP) unit shut due to poor production margins, a source close to the company said on Thursday.
The unit producing about 117,000 tonnes/year of benzene was taken off line earlier this year and market conditions will determine its restart date, the source added.
TDP and hydro-dealkylation (HDA) producers in Asia have been suffering from negative margins as feedstock toluene values have remained about $100-150/tonne (€74-111/tonne) higher than benzene since fourth quarter last year.
TDP units produce benzene and mixed xylenes via toluene and HDA produces benzene from toluene.
On Thursday, toluene prices in Asia were pegged at $525-535/tonne FOB (free on board) Korea, $90/tonne higher than benzene values at $435-445/tonne FOB Korea, according to global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.($1 = €0.74)
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