China’s Fushun Petrochemical to restart MEK line in Feb/March

29 January 2010 07:49  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--China’s Fushun Petrochemical plans to restart its 30,000 tonne/year methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) line at Liaoning after the Lunar New Year celebrations in mid-February, a company source said on Friday.

"This unit was taken off line in late October last year due to languid demand in the derivative paints and coatings sector during the off-peak months from November-January," the source said.

The company, which runs two MEK lines at the site, commenced the shutdown after a three-week turnaround at both units in early October.

The company’s second MEK line, which has a nameplate capacity of 25,000 tonnes/year, had been operating at full rate after the turnaround, the source added.

"MEK prices have been rising since the beginning of 2010, that is why we intend to restart the [30,000 tonne/year MEK] line," the source said.

Spot MEK prices in Asia were negotiated on Friday at $1,120-1,170/tonne (€806-842/tonne) CFR (cost and freight) NE (northeast) Asia, reflecting higher buy-sell levels.

In the Chinese domestic market, prices were hovering at yuan (CNY) 8,400-8,500/tonne ($1,230-1,245/tonne) ex-tank in eastern China and at CNY8,500-8,600/tonne ex-tank in southern China, according to global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.

Demand would most likely pick up after the Lunar New Year holidays when trades in China and exports to South Korea would gain pace, the source added.

A Chinese trader said in Mandarin: "If Fushun runs on full capacity, MEK prices in the [China] domestic market could go down."

Fushun Petrochemical is a subsidiary of Chinese energy major PetroChina.

($1 = €0.72/$1 = CNY6.83)

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By: Ong Sheau Ling
+65 6780 4359



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