Asia benzene oversupply to persist for years - consultant
13 July 2011 11:08 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia will remain in oversupply of benzene in the next few years, requiring that it exports substantial volumes to the ?xml:namespace>US and other regions, an industry consultant said on Wednesday.
“Asia is forecast to have a significant excess of benzene capacity and will become a significant exporter,” Nexant Asia consultant Tiankanok Sirichayaporn told delegates at the 5th Asian Aromatics and Derivatives Conference in Singapore.
The conference runs from 13-14 July.
Benzene availability has significantly increased in recent years in China, Japan and parts of southeast Asia.
In Japan, supply has mounted due to shutdowns of some derivatives plants. China, on the other hand, is likely to remain a balanced market, unless a major downstream expansion takes place, he said.
In southeast Asia, production in Singapore is also expected to rise when the new projects of ExxonMobil and Jurong Aromatics Corp (JAC) start up in the near term, the Nexant consultant said.
Countries like India and Thailand would also need to export more benzene in the medium term due to newly-added capacity, he added.
US’ demand for benzene imports is expected to remain stable as the country's own production of the aromatics from pygas would be restricted, because of limited supply of the feedstock.
Also, production from toluene conversion process like toluene disproportionation (TDP) is affected by persistent poor margins, he added.
The US imports about 1m tonnes/year of benzene. South Korea, meanwhile, is one of the largest benzene exporters in the world.By: Mahua Chakravarty+65 6780 4359
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