S Korea's Sam Nam Petrochemical to shut PTA unit in H2 March

15 March 2012 10:21  [Source: ICIS news]

(Recasts fifth paragraph for clarity)

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--South Korea’s Sam Nam Petrochemical plans to shut its 350,000 tonne/year No 2 purified terephthalic acid (PTA) plant at Yeosu on 16 March for 15 days because of poor margins, a company source said on Thursday.

“We sell PTA mostly on a spot basis to southeast Asia, so we can adjust our production,” said the source.

Asia’s spot PTA prices fell by $30-35/tonne (€23-27/tonne) this week, with Thursday prices of Taiwanese cargoes at $1,165/tonne CFR (cost and freight) CMP (China Main Port) and for South Korean material at $1,150/tonne CFR CMP.

PTA prices were tracking sharp falls in polyester’s co-feedstock monoethylene glycol (MEG). Weakness in PTA futures market also adds to the downward pressure on spot prices.

PTA's negative margins to feedstock paraxylene (PX) widened to minus $81/tonne from minus $73/tonne in the previous week, according to ICIS. Manufacturing a tonne of PTA requires 670kg of PX.

Meanwhile, Sam Nam also has a scheduled turnaround at its 550,000 tonne/year No 4 qualified terephthalic acid (QTA) at the site  from 21 April to 4 May, the company source said.

Sam Nam is a joint venture between Japan’s Mitsubishi Chemical (40%) and South Korean companies Samyang Petrochemical (40%) and GS-Caltex Oil (20%).

($1 = 0.77)

By: Becky Zhang
+65 6780 4359

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