Taiwan’s FPC to shut Mailiao EVA plants for safety inspections in March

05 February 2013 05:03  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Taiwan’s Formosa Plastics Corp (FPC) is planning to shut its 168,000 tonne/year tubular ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) plant and its 72,000 tonne/year EVA/low density polyethylene (LDPE) swing plant at Mailiao in early March, a company official said on Tuesday.

“Both the plants will be shut in early March for three to four weeks, for safety inspections,” the official said, adding that the high pressure production process calls for such inspections every two years.

The plants are currently operating at full capacity to build up inventory, the official said.

The planned shutdown is estimated to result in EVA production loss of between 15,000-18,000 tonnes, the official said, adding that this could exacerbate the supply tightness in the Asian market.

Prices of the foaming grade EVA with 18% vinyl acetate (VA) content were assessed near

eight-month highs at $1,700-1,720/tonne (€1,258-1,273/tonne) cost and freight (CFR) China Main Port/southeast (SE) Asia on 29 January, according to ICIS.

EVA prices have gained about 12% from December last year amid limited supply and firmer values of feedstock ethylene, ICIS data showed.

Deals for February shipments were concluded higher amid limited supply after major regional producers implemented production cuts since October 2012 on the back of squeezed margins.

Meanwhile, some producers were eyeing fresh selling targets for March shipments at $1,800/tonne CFR CMP/SE Asia, but there were no firm discussions in the days leading to the Lunar New Year holiday, market sources said.

Major EVA producers in Asia include Taiwan’s USI Far East; South Korea’s Hanwha Chemical, Lotte Chemical Corp and Samsung Total; Japan’s Sumitomo Chemical, DuPont-Mitsui Polychemicals and Tosoh Corp; China’s YPC-BASF (BYC), Yanshan Petrochemical, Beijing Organic and DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers; The Polyolefin Co Singapore (TPC) and Thailand’s TPI Polene.

($1 = €0.74)

By: Helen Lee

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