Japan’s Asahi Kasei raises February ACN nomination by $50/tonne

31 January 2013 02:53  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Japan’s Asahi Kasei has increased its February acrylonitrile (ACN) contract nomination by $50/tonne (€37/tonne) from January levels, a company source said on Thursday.

It nominated $2,050/tonne CFR (cost & freight) Asia as its Far East Contract Price (FECP) for February, compared with $2,000/tonne CFR Asia for January.

Tight supply and cost-push were the main reasons cited by Asahi Kasei for the FECP increase.

“Wide-spread tight supply in US, European and Asia given the ACN plant maintenance schedules on FPC, Taekwang and Ascend, which may push ACN price going higher,” the source said.

Asahi Kasei plans to continue to run its ACN plants in Japan and Korea at reduced rates given the high raw material cost, the source added.

Taiwan's Formosa Plastics Corp (FPC) shut its 280,000tonne/year ACN plant on 4 January for annual maintenance at Mailiao city in Taiwan and will restart the unit around 2 February.

Korea’s Taekwang plans to shut its 250,000tonne/year ACN plant on 20 February for 18 days and may restart on 10 March.

US’s Ascend Performance Materials will conduct maintenance at its ACN plant in Chocolate Bayou in Texas in late March. It has a capacity to produce 500,000 tonnes/year of ACN at its Chocolate Bayou facility, according to ICIS plants and projects.

“It is too high [a price] to buy for Chinese buyers, given the weak downstream demand and the new capacity,” a Chinese trader-buyer said referring to 130,000 tonne/year new ACN plant Sinopec Anqing, which is expected to start up soon.

Asahi Kasei has two ACN plants in Japan with a combined capacity of 450,000 tonnes/year.

Its wholly-owned subsidiary, Tongsuh Petrochemical in Ulsan, South Korea, has an ACN capacity of 320,000 tonnes/year.

($1 = €0.74)

By: Ivy Ruan

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