South Korea’s Taekwang cuts ACN unit ops to 80% on negative margins

27 November 2012 02:12  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--South Korea’s Taekwang Petrochemical has further reduced the operating rate of its 290,000 tonne/year acrylonitrile (ACN) plant at Ulsan to 80% of capacity because of negative margins, a company source said on Tuesday.

The plant will run at this reduced rate until February 2013 when it shuts for its annual maintenance, the company source added.

“Market conditions are really weak and we are losing a lot of money, so we have no choice but to further cut the operating rate in November to the minimum level of 80% of capacity,” the source said.

The plant was running at around 90% of capacity in October, the source added.

ACN prices have fallen by more than $200/tonne (€154/tonne) since mid-September because of weak demand and oversupply, industry sources said.

ACN prices were at $1,650-1,750/tonne CFR (cost & freight) northeast (NE) Asia in the week ended 23 November, down from $1,890-1,950/tonne CFR NE Asia in the week ended 14 September, ICIS data showed.

Traders have been offloading excess stocks from Europe and the US into Asia at competitive rates, pressuring prices lower in Asia and wiping out the margins of the Asian ACN producers, industry sources said.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Helen Yan
+65 6780 4359

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