China’s Taizhou Petchem to restart MEK lines in H2 June

07 June 2010 08:05  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--China’s Tai Zhou Petrochemical plans to restart its methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) lines at Jiangsu in eastern China in the second half of June following a planned turnaround, an industry source said on Monday.

The two lines, with a combined nameplate capacity of 40,000 tonnes/year, had been shut down since 1 April for routine maintenance, said the source who is a key buyer from the company.

"We were told that after the restart, operations may not be smooth. Material for sale will likely commence in late July or August,” the source added, but could not specify the reasons for the delay in full production.

“Supply overhang will not worsen for the moment, since Tai Zhou will not be an active spot player for these two months,” a local trader said in Mandarin.

Meanwhile, ample supply and sluggish demand in the downstream polyurethane sector had led to a drop in domestic MEK prices, said an east China-based trader.

MEK prices were weighed down further by surplus cargoes from north China which were being sold cheap in the eastern markets, a key local producer said, adding that offers were heard as low as yuan (CNY) 7,800/tonne ($1,142/tonne) ex-tank.

Prices were reported down CNY1,000/tonne from 28 May to 8,000-8,200/tonne ex-tank in east China on 4 June, while in south China, MEK values plunged CNY700/tonne to CNY8,300-8,400 ex-tank, according to global chemical intelligence service ICIS pricing.

Other MEK producers in Asia include TASCO, Tonen Chemical (an affiliate of the ExxonMobil group), Idemitsu Kosan and Maruzen Petrochemical.

($1 = Y6.83)

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By: Ong Sheau Ling
+65 6780 4359



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