SINGAPORE (ICIS)--South Korea-based Asia Acetyls Co (Asacco) plans to raise operating rates at its 210,000 tonne/year vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) plant in Ulsan to 100% capacity in March on low inventories, a company official said on Thursday.
The plant has been operating at 90-95% capacity since January, he said, adding that their inventory is low amid buoyant domestic demand whereas tightening supply in Europe may attract Asian volumes to that region.
“We are planning to ship 1,000 to 2,000 tonnes to Europe for loading in March,” he said.
VAM prices in Europe and US had firmed amid tightening supply on the back of VAM plant closures in Europe.
Meanwhile, VAM suppliers in Asia largely raised offers to $1,150-1,160/tonne CFR (cost and freight) NE (northeast) Asia/SE (southeast) Asia/South Asia for cargoes loading in the latter half of February and early March, an increase of $50/tonne on the month in a protracted bid to pass on hefty gains in feedstock values in 2013.