China’s Jilin Petrochemical further delays MIBK line restart

02 July 2013 05:40  [Source: ICIS news]

MELBOURNE (ICIS)--China’s Jilin Petrochemical is further postponing the restart of its idled 15,000 tonne/year methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK) line in Jilin because of weak market conditions, a company source said on Tuesday.

The company in early May began maintenance and safety checks required prior to restarting the idled line, which was then scheduled to be restarted in late June or July.

The line has been mostly idle since September 2008.

However, weak MIBK demand and margins so far in 2013 have prompted the producer to further postpone the restart of the unit, the company source said.

Spot MIBK prices in China have been under downward pressure since December 2012, weighed on by capacity expansion in South Korea and the consequent surge in import volumes.  

The prices of locally-produced MIBK in China slumped by close to 20% to yuan (CNY) 13,400-13,600/tonne ($2,182-2,215/tonne) EXW (ex-works) by late June from CNY16,600-17,000/tonne EXW in mid-December 2012, according to data collated by ICIS.

Jilin Petrochemical’s two MIBK lines are identical in capacity, at 15,000 tonnes/year each.

Meanwhile, the producer will “at some point in the second half of 2013” shut its active line for 20-30 days for a catalyst change, the source said.

The catalyst change was previously scheduled to take place in June or July. However, the company has yet to decide on the dates for the shutdown, the company source added.

($1 = CNY6.14)

By: Trisha Huang

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