Chile’s PP production still down, will return in June

29 April 2010 17:25  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Chile’s domestic polypropylene (PP) production remained down for a lack of feedstock propylene, but producer Petroquim expected to resume production in June, with other grades following in July, a company source said on Thursday.

Current plans estimated that production of homopolymers could resume in June, with copolymer production scheduled to restart in July, according to indications from local refiner ENAP, the source said.

Following the 27 February earthquake, Petroquim has bought PP material from Colombia and Brazil to keep its main clients supplied. Some volumes from Argentina have also entered the country.

Material from Argentina was getting more expensive in May, offered around $1,800-1,820/tonne (€1,368-1,383/tonne) CFR (cost and freight) Chile for homopolymer product, buyers said.

Petroquim hoped to liquidate expensive inventories of regional product at $1,780/tonne DEL (delivered) in May before PP prices would likely plummet in the region as a result of slumping feedstock propylene prices in the US Gulf, sources said.

Asian homopolymers remained the most competitive imports at $1,540/tonne CFR Chile main port. But the expected price decline in the US Gulf made purchases of Asian products risky, considering that shipments from Asia arrive in Chile 60 to 70 days after the order is placed, the source said. 

Homopolymer material of Brazilian origin was quoted at $1,850/tonne CFR Chile, and it was in short supply.

($1 = €0.76)

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By: George Martin
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