S Korea’s Kumho P&B may cut MIBK output further on weak demand

22 April 2013 04:26  [Source: ICIS news]

MELBOURNE (ICIS)--South Korea’s Kumho P&B Chemicals may reduce its methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK) output further if export demand remains weak and the price downtrend continues, a company source said on Monday.

The producer has been capping the operating rate at its 55,000 tonne/year MIBK plant in Yeosu at 85-90% of capacity since 1 April because of poor market conditions.

The average spot prices of MIBK into China, the key market in Asia, have slumped by 14% since early December 2012 to settle at $1,750/tonne (($1,330/tonne) CFR (cost and freight) China on 16 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.

“If the price decline continues, we may reduce our plant operating rate further,” the company source said.

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

($1 = €0.76)

By: Trisha Huang

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