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Reduced supply pushes up ethylene prices in Asia

  • 23/02/2016 (02:40)
The sentiment is firm in Asia’s ethylene market this week as spot prices gained ground in line with expectations. Dwindling supplies due to scheduled cracker shutdowns were cited as the main reason behind firmer prices.

Spot ethylene prices climbed by around $35-40/ton week over week both on CFR Northeast and CFR Southeast Asia basis. Demand is considered to be good amidst availability constraints.

Supply levels are unlikely to ease in the short term as the region’s monomer market is now entering into a turnaround season. Thailand’s PTT shut their 1 million tons/year cracker for planned turnaround on February 20. The cracker is expected to remain offline for 40 days.

Japan’s Asahi Kasei permanently closed their 470,000 tons/year naphtha cracker at Mizushima on February 15 as scheduled.

South Korea’s YNCC and Japan’s Tosoh are expected to shut their crackers for maintenance in the first half of March. The crackers have a total ethylene capacity of over 1 million tons/year and each of them will remain offline for a month.

Lotte Chemical is mulling over shutting their Yeosu cracker for maintenance in the first half of April. The cracker, which has an ethylene capacity of 1 million tons/year, will remain offline until early May. Following Lotte’s turnaround, over 1.4 million tons/year of ethylene capacity in the region will be offline for scheduled maintenance in the May-August period.
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