South Korea’s Kumho caps MIBK output at 85-90% capacity

09 April 2013 04:32  [Source: ICIS news]

MELBOURNE (ICIS)--South Korea’s Kumho P&B Chemicals plans to cap the operating rate at its 55,000 tonne/year methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK) plant in Yeosu at 85-90% capacity in the near term, a company source said on Tuesday.

The producer cut its MIBK plant operating rate from 90-100% capacity on 1 April because of poor market conditions, the company source said.

The average spot prices of MIBK into China, the key market, have slumped by 13% since early December 2012 to settle at $1,770/tonne (€1,363/tonne) CFR China on 2 April, according to data compiled by ICIS.

Prices were driven lower by rising spot supply and weaker-than-expected demand from the downstream solvents, coating and rubber chemical additives sectors in China along with losses in the feedstock acetone sector during March.

Kumho began commercial operations of its expanded MIBK plant, which is the largest plant in Asia by capacity, on 10 December 2012.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Trisha Huang

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