Asia witnessed plummet in ethylene prices this week, as sellers of ethylene were forced to reduce their prices sharply lower across the Asia region due to tedious buying interest, sufficient product availability and bearish downstream product demand and pricing trends.
FOB Korea prices of ethylene on Friday were assessed lower at the USD 980/mt levels, a fall of USD80/mt on the week.
CFR South East Asia prices of ethylene were assessed at the USD 945/mt levels, a steep week on week fall of USD 60/mt. While, CFR North East Asia prices were assessed at the USD 1025/mt mark, a plunge of USD 80/mt on the week.
Following a maintenance turnaround and debottlenecking in mid-April 2017, KPIC plans to restart its cracker in end-May 2017 located at Onsan city in south Korea. The cracker has an ethylene production capacity of 470,000 mt/year and a propylene capacity of 230,000 mt/year.
During the shutdown, the steam cracker's ethylene production capacity will be raised to 800,000 mt/year from 470,000 mt/year, and propylene output to 500,000 mt/year from 230,000 mt/year.
Post-debottlenecking production capacity of ethylene and propylene will be 800,000 mt/year and 500,000 mt/year, respectively.
In Japan, Asahi Kasei Mitsubishi Chemical Ethylene Corp. plans to restart its 495,000 mt/year naphtha-fed steam cracker in Mizushima on July 3, from an ongoing annual maintenance that started May 10.
Market sources said that the Asian ethylene market would likely remain bearish as ethylene production in Asia is seen normalizing after steam cracker turnaround season in the region.
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