Mitsui Chemicals’ Ichihara cracker op rates cut - traders

06 January 2011 10:57  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Japan’s Mitsui Chemicals’ 617,000 tonne/year naphtha cracker in Ichihara, Chiba prefecture, is experiencing reduced operating rates following unspecified mechanical issues and may be taken off line for 10 days this month, several traders said on Thursday.

“The cracker experienced some problems last year and we heard it may go down for a 10-day shutdown this week or next week,” a Japan-based trader said.

Another trader also said the cracker had experienced some mechanical problems but did not give details.

A Mitsui Chemicals company official declined to comment but said there was no interest to procure spot ethylene cargoes for January or February owing to its balanced position.

The cracker was currently operating at a reduced rate of below 90% capacity, according to the Japan-based trader.

Meanwhile, selling targets for spot ethylene cargoes were pegged at $1,250/tonne (€950/tonne) cost and freight (CFR) NE Asia and above but buyers’ response was slow owing to ample inventories.

Bids in China were capped at $1,200/tonne CFR China for a 3,000 tonne end-Jan/early Feb loading cargo. 

Additional reporting by Felicia Loo

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By: Helen Lee
+65 6780 4359

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