Taiwan’s Chang Chun to cut acetic acid output in December

11 November 2011 03:29  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Taiwan’s Chang Chun Petrochemical plans to cut operating rates at its new acetic acid plant at Mailiao in December owing to weak demand, a company source said on Friday.

The plant, which can produce up to 460,000 tonnes/year of acetic acid, is currently operating at 80-85% of capacity, up from 50-60% levels in late October, the source said.

Commercial production at the plant started in late August.

“We will reduce operating rates next month because of weak demand and long supply conditions in the market,” he said, but did not provide details.

Chang Chun has a 3,000-tonne acetic acid spot cargo available for sale in November and a 3,000-5,000-tonne lot available for December, the company source said.

The company hopes to sell the cargoes at above $470/tonne (€348/tonne) FOB (free on board) Taiwan, in line with prevailing offer levels for Chinese material, the source said. However, trade is being hindered by a wide buy-sell spread, with buying indications across Asia quoted at $470-490/tonne CFR (cost and freight) China/Taiwan/SE Asia/South Asia, which is a 10-month low.

“The main problem is the state of the European economy and China’s control on inflation, but buyer inventory is low,” the source from Chang Chun said.

Another northeast Asia-based producer said: “We are not sure how long the slump will last.”

Major acetic acid producers in Asia include US-based Celanese, UK’s BP, China’s Jiangsu Sopo, Shanghai Wujing, Yankuang Cathay Coal Chemicals, Henan ShunDa Chemical and Hebei Chung Shun Chemical, India’s GNFC, Saudi Arabia’s Sipchem and Iran’s Fanavaran Petrochemical.

($1 = €0.74)

For more information on acetic acid, visit ICIS chemical intelligence
Please visit the complete ICIS plants and projects database

By: Helen Lee
+65 6780 4359

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