S Korea’s Lotte Chemical mulls run rate cuts at Ulsan PX facility

11 July 2013 05:27  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--South Korea’s Lotte Chemical is considering cutting production at its paraxylene (PX) facility in Ulsan because of margin squeeze, a company source said on Thursday.

The company can produce 775,000 tonnes/year of PX at the unit.

The plant’s run rate may be reduced to an average of 80-85% from 100% currently, the source said, citing the narrowing price gap between PX and feedstock isomer-grade xylene, the source said.

“We are still monitoring the current market conditions, and expect to come to a decision by next week,” the source said.

The current price spread between isomer-grade xylene and PX on a FOB (free-on-board) basis stands at $214-216/tonne (€167-168/tonne) on 10 July, according to ICIS data.

For most PX producers, the breakeven point is around $220-240/tonne, industry sources said.

($1 = €0.78)

By: Samuel Wong

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