UpdateTaiwan’s FPCC to cut cracker ops in April on poor margins

22 March 2013 02:45  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Taiwan’s Formosa Petrochemical Corp (FPCC) plans to cut the run rates at its three naphtha crackers at Mailiao to around 90% capacity in April because of poor margins, a company source said on Friday.

The three crackers –  with a combined ethylene nameplate capacity of 2.93m tonnes/year – are running at 100% capacity this month, he said.

The company was initially in talks to sell a spot cargo of at least 5,000 tonnes for first-half April loading but discussions fell apart because of a price gap.

The highest bid from a trader was at around $1,260/tonne (€970/tonne) FOB (free on board) Taiwan while selling ideas were higher at $1,280-1,300/tonne FOB Taiwan, the source said.

He added that there would be no spot availability after the cracker rate cuts take effect in April.

Ethylene margins based on naphtha feedstock have come under pressure in northeast Asia because of sharp falls in ethylene and co-product prices.

Ethylene margins fell by $90/tonne to just $21/tonne during the week ended 15 March, according to data from ICIS.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Peh Soo Hwee
+65 6780 4359

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