China toluene output falls by 3% in March on plant turnarounds

11 April 2012 07:42  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s domestic output of toluene decreased by 3% in March month on month mainly as a result of turnaround of several plants during the period, industry sources said on Wednesday.

Domestic toluene output decreased to 441,460 tonnes in March from 455,680 tonnes in February, according to Chemease, an ICIS service in China.

Most toluene producers in domestic market are running their facilities at an average of around 74% of capacity, a decrease of two percentage form February, according to Chemease.

“The output was decreased because of some facilities were shut down in March, such as Shanghai Petrochemical and Zhenhai Refining and Chemical Company’s (ZRCC),” a trader said.

Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical’s aromatics unit with a toluene capacity of 220,000 tonnes /year was shut down at the end of February for one-month scheduled maintenance, a company source said.

Sinopec ZRCC’s No 1 aromatics unit at Ningbo with a toluene capacity of 250,000 tonnes/year has been shut since 19 February and will be down for 75 days from the originally planned 40-50 days, a company source said.

The country’s toluene output in April is expected to increase slightly to 446,880 tonnes due to the restart of Shanghai Petrochemical in April, according to Chemease.

While the average operating rates of aromatic units in April will remain stable at 74% because of the shutdown of Lanzhou Petrochemical, which is a subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), according to Chemease.

Lanzhou Petrochemical’s aromatics unit at Lanzhou has a toluene capacity of 130,000 tonnes/year, the source added.

By: Ariel Chen

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