05 December 2012 02:14 [Source: ICIS news]
MELBOURNE (ICIS)--China’s Bluestar Harbin Petrochemical has cut the operating rate at its 120,000 tonne/year phenol/acetone unit to about 70% capacity because of persistently high feedstock costs and rising inventories, a company source said late on Tuesday.
The producer slashed the operating rate at the plant, which can produce 72,000 tonnes/year of phenol and 48,000 tonnes/year of acetone, from 100% capacity on 1 December, the source added, without saying for how long the output cut will be maintained.
The price gains in phenol have lagged behind those of benzene throughout October and November.
Feedstock benzene prices have surged by 15.3% since early October to close at an average of $1,433/tonne (€1,089/tonne) FOB (free on board) Korea for the week ended 30 November, according to data compiled by ICIS.
The prices of phenol, meanwhile, rose by 4.6% over the same two-month period to close at an average of $1,490/tonne CFR (cost & freight) China for the week ended 30 November, ICIS data showed.
Bluestar Harbin Petrochemical is one of the two phenol/acetone producers in the northeast region.
The other phenol/acetone producer in the northeast is Jilin Petrochemical.
Additional reporting by Trisha Huang and Jessica Mao
($1 = €0.76)
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