Japan’s Showa Denko to ramp up VAM production at Oita plant

10 May 2012 12:07  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Japan’s Showa Denko plans to beef up production at its 175,000 tonne/year vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) plant at Oita from mid-May, following a period of “very low” run rates since 11 April, a company official said on Thursday.

Operating rate at the plant will be restored to “normal” levels from where it is currently, the official said, without providing details.

The plant had to run at low rates because of limitations in supply of feedstock ethylene, the source said.

“We expect the VAM plant to recover at higher operating rates in mid-May, and within June, all of our ethylene derivative plant operations will return to normal,” he said.

Spot VAM prices in northeast Asia, south Asia and southeast Asia are widely expected to peak at current low-to-high $1,100/tonne (€847/tonne) CFR (cost and freight) levels, as crude, naphtha and ethylene values continued to soften, while VAM demand is weak, market participants said. The prevailing prices in the market are at seven- to eight-month highs.

Other major VAM producers in the Asian market include US-based Celanese, China’s Sichuan Vinylon Works, Japan VAM & Poval, South Korea’s Asacco, Taiwan’s Dairen Chemical Corp and Saudi Arabia’s International Vinyl Acetate Company (IVC).

($1 = €0.77)

By: Helen Lee
+65 6780 4359

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