China’s Jiangsu Sopo runs Zhenjiang etac plant at 70% capacity

12 October 2012 04:39  [Source: ICIS news]

MELBOURNE (ICIS)--China’s Jiangsu Sopo Chemical has been operating its 500,000 tonne/year ethyl acetate (etac) plant at Zhenjiang in Jiangsu province at around 70% capacity, a company source said on Friday.

The etac plant’s operating rate was increased to the current level in late September, after an earlier feedstock supply tightness eased, the source said.

The producer has also resumed supplying etac in the domestic Chinese market, after halting its local sales temporarily during September, the source added.

The company capped its etac plant operating rate at around 50-60% capacity between late August and late September, because of its difficulty in securing feedstock ethanol as supply was curtailed by increased costs of raw materials corn and tapioca.

During that time, unstable operations at Jiangsu Sopo’s integrated upstream acetic acid plants as well as its high volume of acetic acid export commitments contributed to the overall feedstock supply shortage for etac.

Jiangsu Sopo operates two acetic acid plants with combined capacities of 1m tonnes/year as well as a 500,000 tonne/year methanol plant at the same site in Zhenjiang.

Domestic etac prices in China declined to yuan (CNY) 6,300-6,500/tonne ($1,003-1,035/tonne) EXW in eastern China during the week ended 12 October, from CNY6,400-6,550/tonne EXW for the week ended 28 September, according to Chemease, an ICIS service in China.

The Chinese market was closed on 1-7 October for the country’s National Day holiday.

Additional reporting by Elisa Fu                

($1 = CNY6.28)

By: Trisha Huang

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