S Korea's KP Chemical prolongs shutdown PTA units on poor margins

08 November 2012 09:05  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--South Korea’s KP Chemical is extending the shutdown period of its purified terephthalic acid (PTA) plants in Ulsan to further trim output amid eroding margins, a company source said on Thursday.

A planned three-day shutdown at its 650,000 tonne/year No 3 plant in Ulsan from 2 November was prolonged to 10 days, the source said.

The company’s also has a 400,000 tonne/year No 2 PTA plant at the site that will be kept shut until the end of the year, the source said.

The plant was initially expected to be down for two months from 17 September, the source said.

“Margins are so poor. There is no point for PTA production,” the source said.

On 7 November, spot PTA prices in Asia were at $1,080-1,090/tonne (€842-850/tonne) CFR (cost & freight) China Main Port (CMP), whereas feedstock PX values were discussed at $1,550-1,580/tonne CFR CMP, according to ICIS.

One tonne of PTA requires 660-670kg of PX. With PX cost at $1,033-1,049/tonne, PTA producers are not able to cover variable costs of around $130-150/tonne.

KP Chemical’s No 1 plant in Ulsan that used to produce PTA was converted into a purified isophthalic acid (PIA) unit in 2010.

($1 = €0.78)

By: Becky Zhang
+65 6780 4359

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