28 August 2012 06:42 [Source: ICIS news]
By Trisha Huang
MELBOURNE (ICIS)--Spot prices of methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK) in ?xml:namespace>
Supply of spot cargoes to
The turnaround will overlap with a three-and-a-half month shutdown planned by
“MIBK prices may rise in Asia because of the overlapping shutdowns in
An unplanned shutdown of Mitsui Chemicals’ plant in late April had triggered a surge in MIBK prices to a record average of $2,190/tonne (€1,752/tonne) CFR (cost and freight)
Prices subsequently crashed by 22% to $1,705/tonne CFR China by the week ended 10 July, as high costs prompted end-users in the solvents and rubber chemicals sectors to either seek out lower-priced substitutes, like butyl acetate (butac), or slash output altogether. Prices have since rebounded to an average of $1,785/tonne CFR China for the week ended 21 August, ICIS data showed.
Of greater concern to MIBK buyers in
The South Korean company has been seeking to import about 1,500-2,000 tonnes of MIBK a month to meet an anticipated supply shortfall between September and December.
“Kumho’s intention to purchase spot supplies from overseas producers, together with the recent increases in naphtha and therefore propylene costs, could drive up MIBK prices in the region,” a trader said.
Weekly naphtha prices have risen 14% for the four weeks ended 24 August to $967.25/tonne CFR Japan, according to ICIS data.
As such, mounting costs of naphtha derivatives propylene and benzene are expected to exert upwards pressure on the prices of acetone, the feedstock for MIBK.
Prices of propylene, for instance, have gained 5% over the same four-week period to reach $1,390/tonne CFR NE Asia for the week ended 24 August, ICIS data showed.
Producers’ offers for MIBK cargoes loading in September have strengthened to $1,830-1,850/tonne CFR China/SE Asia, compared with deals for shipment this month at $1,750-1,780/tonne CFR China/SE Asia.
“Mitsui Chemicals supplies about 800 tonnes a month to
Weak demand from the downstream solvents sectors means that MIBK output from local producers is adequate in meeting domestic requirements, according to producers and importers in the country.
Domestic MIBK prices in
Local pricing may fall below CNY14,000/tonne ex-tank/EXW by the second half of September, as
“Demand from solvents end-users has weakened substantially,” the importer said. “We have been getting fewer buying enquiries in recent weeks.”
Separately, Jilin Petrochemical is running its 15,000 tonne/year MIBK plant at full operating rate following a restart on 10 August. The plant was brought off line on 24 July to undergo repairs to the unit’s reactor.
Demand from the coating sector in
“MIBK producers in
($1 = €0.80 / $1 = CNY6.36)
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