26 August 2011 18:35 [Source: ICIS news]
HANGZHOU (ICIS)--Taiwan may reduce its dependence on caprolactam (capro) spot imports from as early as the start of 2012 as its sole domestic producer, China Petrochemical Development Corp (CPDC), increases its operating capacity, market sources said on Friday.
"CPDC will be capable of producing 400,000 tonnes of capro annually in early 2012," said a CPDC company source.
Work is currently underway to double the nameplate production capacity of the company's plant in Toufen, Miaoli county, to 200,000 tonnes/year by early 2012.
Of the plant's extra capacity, 30% or 30,000 tonnes/year will be exported to China as spot cargoes in flakes, while the remaining 70,000 tonnes/year will be allocated to local downstream users as molten material, said a source close to CPDC.
Earlier this year, CPDC raised the capacity at its Xiaogang line in Kaohsiung by 20,000 tonnes/year to 200,000 tonnes/year after a debottlenecking.
Taiwan is highly dependent on deep-sea imports of capro, but CPDC's increased capacity will make a difference.
"This would mean that less spot cargoes will be sold to Taiwan next year," said a spot trader.
Taiwan imported a total of 174,968 tonnes of capro from January to May 2011.
Given that Taiwan’s local supply will effectively increase by 70,000 tonnes/year from early 2012, spot cargoes will be directed to China where the market is fundamentally tight, market players said.
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