Celanese puts customers on allocation after issues at Texas plant

28 February 2013 18:58  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Celanese has put its acetic acid customers in the US and Europe on supply allocation for March and April following unspecified production issues at its 1.2m tonnes/year acetic acid plant in Clear Lake, Texas, several market players in China said on Thursday.

“The plant has been shut for two to three days and customers have been put on allocation,” a source familiar with the company said.

A US source said the Texas unit near Houston went down on Wednesday. The US source said Celanese did not expect the plant to be down for long.

Celanese did not return a call immediately seeking information about the plant problem.

The cause and duration of the shutdown were not known, he added. Other sources said that it was related to feedstock supply issues but details remained sketchy.

“We heard that they are limiting sales volumes to US customers in March whereas their sales volumes to Europe will be curtailed for April,” a separate source added.

A European buyer said that Celanese had not imposed any restrictions on contractual deliveries, but did not expect to have any spot volumes available for sale in Europe during March and April.

Meanwhile, exporters of China-origin acetic acid reported receiving buying enquires from Europe this week.

The enquiries were for 3,000 to 5,000 tonne or 4,000 to 6,000 tonne lots for loading in March, for discharge in Spain, Turkey and Antwerp port, according to traders.

Offers were mentioned at $410-430/tonne (€312-327/tonne) FOB (free on board) China, reflecting a $5-10/tonne hike compared with the previous week’s discussion levels. Deals however, were hindered by a buy-sell spread.

($1 = €0.76)

Additional reporting by Lane Kelley and Sam Weatherlake

By: Helen Lee
+65 6780 4359

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