Taiwan's Formosa cuts cracker op rates on naphtha shortage

20 November 2009 02:29  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Taiwan’s Formosa Petrochemical Corp (FPC) has reduced operating rates at its three crackers in Mailiao to around 90% this week due to a shortage of feedstock naphtha, a company official said on Friday.

“We reduced the cracker rates the day before yesterday (Wednesday),” said the official in Mandarin. It was not clear for how long the facilities would run at reduced rates.

Formosa’s three crackers, which can produce 2.93m tonnes/year of ethylene, were operating at full capacity prior to the output cut, the source said.

Improving market conditions for downstream petrochemicals saw a number of northeast Asian cracker operators making significant purchases of naphtha, which strongly pushed up the value of the feedstock, market sources said.

Asian naphtha prices had soared to a 13-month high mid-week, with second-half January open-spec contract deals done at $721.00/tonne (€483/tonne) amid firmer crude values, strong demand from the petrochemical sector and tighter supplies, they said.

($1 = €0.67)

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By: Peh Soo Hwee
+65 6780 4359

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