HOUSTON (ICIS)--Colombia’s sole polyethylene (PE) producer Ecopetrol is currently doing maintenance to the bigger of two low density polyethylene (LDPE) units in the country, but the smallest one is back in operation, a company source said on Monday.
LDPE supply in Colombia has been affected by a prolonged maintenance in one of two units at the domestic plant and for a while, the two plants were down simultaneously, aggravating domestic supply.
The 3,620 tonne/month Poly-2 unit is the one that is currently down, while the 1,780 tonne/month Poly 1 unit has resumed operations.
Import prices have been inching up in recent weeks and are poised to go up again in August in view of limited supply in the US Gulf and other markets, but appreciation of the local currency versus the US dollar has mitigated the price hike.
There are maintenance turnarounds currently ongoing in Mexico and Argentina.
LDPE production in Chile was permanently shut down in mid-May.
Demand is expected to increase in coming weeks as market participants secure import volumes for the second half of the year, sources said.