S Korea's ISU Chemical to keep 50% run rate at Ulsan IPA plant

27 July 2012 11:56  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--South Korea’s ISU Chemical is likely to keep a 50% operating rate at its 60,000 tonne/year isopropanol (IPA) plant in Ulsan in August because of persistently weak margins, a market source said on Friday.

One of the two 30,000 tonne/year lines at the plant has been shut since the end of May.

“They are likely to keep the line shut throughout August as their feedstock costs have been going up at a faster rate than IPA prices. The overall margins are still weak,” the source said.

IPA spot prices in southeast Asia rose by $50-60/tonne (€41-49/tonne) between 6 July and 20 July in response to higher feedstock propylene and acetone prices, and tighter supply. The price increases, however, were modest compared to the larger gains in China’s acetone spot prices, which were up by more than $100/tonne since the second half of June.

($1 = €0.81)

By: Yeow Pei Lin

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