NPRA `10: Dow Deer Park acrylates production restarts – sources

29 March 2010 23:16  [Source: ICIS news]

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (ICIS news)--Two acrylic acid (AA) trains at Dow's Deer Park plant in Texas are producing again after a mechanical failure in December 2009 and another in March, sources said on Monday on the sidelines of the International Petrochemical Conference (IPC).

Dow could not be immediately reached for comment on the reports.

After the second AA train was shut down, Dow downgraded the site's existing sales control on AA to a force majeure (FM) declaration.

Dow earlier confirmed allocations of less than 100% at the time. Sources said volumes had been limited to 75% of contracted volumes.

Allocations had been raised to 100%, sources said this week.

Some buyers expressed more ire at the lack of supply to meet customer demand than at what some sources have described as producers raising prices to achieve inordinate margin gains.

Unplanned outages at another major US producer, allocations from another seller and a short-term maintenance outage at esters importer Sasol's butyl acrylate (butyl-A) and ethyl acrylate (ethyl-A) plant at Sasolburg in South Africa have intensified supply shortages this year, driving prices near levels not seen since mid-March 2008.

Current acrylates initiatives for April are at plus 8-12 cents/lb ($176-265/tonne, €130-196/tonne) from producers citing continued supply constraints as part of their rationale.

Hosted by the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association (NPRA), the IPC continues through Tuesday.

($1 = €0.74)

For more on acrylic acid, visit ICIS chemical intelligence
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By: Larry Terry
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