Japan’s Tosoh Corp EVA plant outage fails to boost sentiment

17 November 2011 09:48  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Japan’s Tosoh Corp’s two ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) production lines at Nanyo, Yamaguchi prefecture, remain shut for safety reasons, but the outage failed to lift market sentiment, a company official said on Thursday.

The two 20,000 tonne/year EVA lines were shut after a fire broke out on 13 November at the producer’s No 2 vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) plant at the same location.

However, sentiment in the Asian EVA market remains weak because of persistently poor demand, industry sources said.

The prices of EVA with 18% vinyl acetate (VA) content for foaming applications fell by $200-320/tonne (€148-237/tonne) week on week to a 13-month low of $1,900-2,000/tonne CFR (cost & freight) south Asia and $1,950-2,100/tonne CFR CMP (China Main Port) on 15 November, ICIS data showed.

Demand has been weak as end-users in the downstream footwear industry turned to competitively priced substitutes such as polyolefin elastomers after EVA prices hit a record high of around $2,885/tonne CFR south Asia and $2,900/tonne CFR CMP in April this year, according to ICIS.

The eurozone debt crisis has also caused the demand for other EVA derivatives such as EVA sheets and solar panels to drop.

Tosoh’s two EVA lines were operating at full capacity prior to the outage, according to the company official.

The official could not say how long the EVA plants will remain shut.

The outage prompted Tosoh to put aside its plans to export a few thousand tonnes of EVA over the next few months, the source said.

The company has since 2008 reduced its export volumes to cater to the strong domestic demand in Japan.

“At least for us, there is an impact on our export plans,” the Tosoh official said.

Major EVA producers in Asia include Taiwan’s Formosa Plastics Corp (FPC) and USI Corp, South Korea’s Hanwha Chemical and Samsung Total Petrochemicals, Japan’s Sumitomo Chemical, Tosoh Corp and DuPont-Mitsui Polychemicals, China’s YPC-BASF, Beijing Organic, DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers and The Polyolefin Co Singapore (TPC).

($1 = €0.74)

For more on vinyl acetate, visit ICIS chemical intelligence
Please visit the complete ICIS plants and projects database

By: Helen Lee
+65 6780 4359

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