EPCA ’10: Chlorine constraints to keep global ECH on edge

03 October 2010 13:08  [Source: ICIS news]

BUDAPEST (ICIS)--Limited feedstock chlorine availability could make the global epichlorohydrin (ECH) market “uncomfortably balanced,” US producer Dow Chemical said on Sunday.

“Chlorine will be a bigger issue next year. PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is coming back in a big way, which could take chlorine away from the ECH market,” a company source said on the sidelines of the 44th annual European Petrochemical Association (EPCA) meeting.

It would depend on which derivative offered the best returns, the source added.

Dow idled the smaller 100,000 tonne/year ECH train at their Freeport, US, site last month, though it would remain a net exporter, albeit with reduced availability.

“If there is a bubble in the market, we may struggle to fill it,” the source stated.

However, global supply and demand balances would be driven by operating rates in China, which if running at 100% would create a long market, according to the source.

ECH demand would decline in the fourth quarter, according to players, as the downstream epoxy resin sector moved away from peak season in the winter months, but sales for 2010 were reported as 40% above last year and were expected to improve further in 2011.

European ECH prices are currently pegged at €1,750-1,800/tonne ($2,415-2484/tonne) FD (free delivered) NWE northwest Europe), according to ICIS.

($1 = €0.73)

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By: Amandeep Parmar
+44 208 652 3214

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