Japan’s Mitsui to cut Singapore phenol/acetone op rate in Jan

06 December 2012 03:22  [Source: ICIS news]

MELBOURNE (ICIS)--Mitsui Phenol Singapore, a unit of Japan’s Mitsui Chemicals, plans to further reduce its phenol/acetone operating rate in January 2013, a Tokyo-based company official said on Thursday.

The producer plans to reduce the operating rate at the plant, which can produce 300,000 tonnes/year of phenol and 180,000 tonnes/year of acetone, to 75% capacity in January 2013, from 80% capacity in December, the official said.

The company on 1 December slashed the plant’s operating rate to 80% capacity from 100% in response to severe margin erosion caused by surging feedstock benzene costs and comparatively weak phenol prices.

Feedstock benzene’s price gains have outpaced those of phenol throughout October and November.

Benzene prices have advanced 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.

Mitsui Phenol Singapore’s phenol/acetone plant is at Jurong Island in Singapore.

By: Trisha Huang

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