31 January 2013 02:33 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s DSM Nanjing Chemical is offering their February caprolactam (capro) contract at yuan (CNY) 19,900/tonne ($3,199/tonne), CNY800/tonne higher than its settlement price for January contract, a company source said late on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Sinopec announced the quotation price for their February capro contract at CNY19,800/tonne on 29 January, also CNY800/tonne higher than its January contract settlement price, according to statistics from Chemease, an ICIS service in China.
Since early January this year, China’s domestic capro prices began to rebound. Prices increased to CNY19,400-19,700/tonne on 30 January, nearly 11% up compared with the prices in early January. The main reason of price increases is considered to be the shortage in domestic supply.
DSM Nanjing’s 200,000 tonne/year capro line encountered with hydrogen shortage in mid-January and its capro production loss is estimated to be 2,000-3,000 tonnes in January.
Meanwhile, Sinopec Baling’s plant is running at a low rate. Although Sinopec Baling started up its new 100,000 tonne/year line recently, which has raised their total capacity to 300,000 tonnes/year, their daily output is only 500-600 tonnes, the company source said.
In addition, there was an equipment fault at Shandong Fangming Chemical’s 100,000 tonne/year capro plant, which had kept the plant to run at reduced rate for the past two weeks.
The inventory levels of capro in the downstream sector appear to be low in January and capro suppliers have suffered a serious loss for almost the whole year of 2012 because of firm benzene prices and weak capro prices. Hence, carpo prices may continue to rise after the Lunar New Year holiday, a market player indicated.
($1 = CNY6.22)
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