06 November 2013 21:53 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Colombia’s sole polyethylene (PE) producer Ecopetrol has had only the Poly-1 PE production unit in operation during most of October, but the larger Poly-2 unit will resume operations soon, a company source said on Wednesday.
The low-density polyethylene (LDPE) production units at the Barrancabermeja refinery have a combined capacity of 5,400 tonnes/month.
The 3,620 tonne/month Poly-2 unit has been down for maintenance throughout October, the source said.
The 1,780 tonne/month Poly-1 unit will be stopped for maintenance after the Poly-2 unit restarts.
Ecopetrol will supply customers from existing inventories and sees no shortages ahead, the source said.
Both plants will stop again on 24 November and will remain down until 26 December for a scheduled stoppage.
Ecopetrol complements its LDPE production with imports, also buying PE grades not produced locally.
Other products entering Colombia are sourced from Asia, the US Gulf of Mexico and Brazil.
Import prices have weakened this month, with some grades now shown at levels about 4% lower than seen in October, the source said.
Demand has softened in November because buyers expect lower prices ahead, the source said.
LDPE prices in Colombia were recently assessed by ICIS at $2,052-$2,142/tonne (€1,518-1,585/tonne).
($1 = €0.74)
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