Optimal’s glycol ethers shutdown tightens supply in SE Asia

14 October 2010 07:25  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--An ongoing shutdown at Optimal Chemicals’ glycol ethers plant in Kerteh, Malaysia, has restricted supply in southeast Asia (SE Asia), the main importing region in Asia, market players said on Thursday.

“The plant was shut down for maintenance in early October and there’s no clear indication of when it will restart,” a source close to the company said. Optimal officials were not immediately available for comment.

The supply constraints have resulted in a significant price increase in southeast Asia, traders said.

Prices of butyl glycol (BG) were assessed $40-50/tonne (€29-36/tonne) higher week-on-week to $1,600-1,620/tonne CFR (cost and freight) SE Asia this Wednesday, according to ICIS.

Depleting inventories among end users in the coatings segment, resulting from strong downstream demand, also contributed to the price increase, a trader said.

Another key factor behind the price rise in the glycol ethers segment was the increase in feedstock costs, said a supplier.

Feedstock n-butanol prices were assessed firm last Friday at $1,520-1,550/tonne CFR northeast Asia and were expected to rise this week, market players said.

($1 = €0.72)

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