INEOS restarts Hull etac plant but force majeure remains in place

10 November 2011 12:39  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--INEOS restarted its ethyl acetate (etac) plant at Hull in the UK over the weekend of 5-6 November but force majeure remains in place, a source at the Swiss-headquartered petrochemicals major said on Thursday.

INEOS, the biggest producer of etac in northwest Europe, has been out of the spot market since mid-June when it declared force majeure at the 245,000 tonne/year etac facility and put contract customers on allocation.

“We have not lifted the force majeure because it will take a long time before the logistics systems operations begin. Difficult to say, expect [in] three, four weeks," the source said.

INEOS is now reviewing its November allocation rates for contract customers which will be announced soon, said the source.

When asked about resuming supply into the spot market, the source added: "We will have to wait a couple of weeks before thinking about it."

Spot prices for etac – unlike for most other solvents – have experienced occassional hikes during the period of INEOS's absence from the market, which has led to some tightening of supply.

Overall slow demand for etac, however, has kept prices on a generally downward trajectory. Etac prices could come under additional pressure from the €20/tonne ($27/tonne) November decrease in the feedstock ethylene contract price and softening acetic acid values.

Etac prices were assessed at €980-1,020/tonne (FD) free delivered (NWE) northwest Europe for the week ending on 4 November.

($1 = €0.74)

For more on ethyl acetate visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: Cuckoo James
+44 (0) 208 652 3214

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