China’s Taizhou Petchem ‘unlikely’ to restart MIBK unit in Q3

09 July 2013 04:10  [Source: ICIS news]

MELBOURNE (ICIS)--China's Taizhou Petrochemical is “unlikely” to restart its 20,000 tonne/year methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK) plant in Jiangsu province in the third quarter because margins for MIBK producers remain weak amid an ongoing supply overhang, sources close to the company said on Tuesday.

Taizhou Petrochemical’s MIBK plant has been off line since December 2012.

Spot MIBK prices in China have been falling since December 2012, weighed down by capacity expansion in South Korea and the consequent surge in China’s import volumes of the material.

Prices of locally-produced MIBK in China slumped by about 20% from mid-December 2012 to yuan (CNY) 13,300-13,600/tonne ($2,166-2,215/tonne) EXW (ex-works) in early July, according to data collated by ICIS.

China imported 23,785 tonnes of MIBK between January and May 2013, up by 96.91% from the same period a year ago, market sources said, citing the country’s customs data.

Imports from South Korea accounted for 63% of the 3,170 tonnes bought for delivery in May, with the balance largely made up of MIBK supplied from South Africa and Japan, the sources said.

Taizhou Petrochemical previously deferred its plan to restart the MIBK plant sometime in the second quarter of 2013.

($1 = CNY6.14)

By: Trisha Huang

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