Asia's C3 market to see little impact from Nippon Oil FCC outage

22 March 2010 04:29  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Asian propylene (C3) spot prices may not be affected much by a shutdown at Nippon Oil Corp’s fluid catalytic cracker (FFC) unit in Mizushima, traders said on Monday.

“Propylene prices are already highly valued and PP (polypropylene) is weak,” said a Korea-based olefins trader.

NOC – Japan’s largest refiner – had shut the FCC unit, which can produce 100,000 tonnes/year of propylene, on 17 March due to unspecified problems and the facility was expected to be down for about a week, a company source said late on Friday.

Propylene spot prices fell $20/tonne (€14.8/tonne)  to $1,240-1,300/tonne CFR (cost and freight) northeast Asia last week, according to data from ICIS pricing.

The prices were basically near parity with PP flat yarn values, which were assessed at $1,250-1,330/tonne CFR China over the same period, based on the same data.

This indicated that margins for PP makers remained in the red as the typical propylene-to-PP spread was estimated at around $150/tonne, market sources said.

Separately, NOC’s upstream 460,000 tonne/year naphtha cracker in Kawasaki was expected to be taken off line on 21 April for around 19 days for some repairs, said the company source.

($1 = €0.74)

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By: Peh Soo Hwee
+65 6780 4359



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