With tight supply of purified terephthalic acid (PTA) in the key China market due to the G20 summit conducted in Hangzhou City in the eastern Zhejiang province with petrochemical plants in the surrounding areas mandated to either shut or cut production to ensure better air quality for the duration of the summit, the of Asiaâ€™s PTA likely to continue to rise due to an uptick in demand, industry sources.
Purchasing interest re-surfaced on fears that prices will continue to spike amid scheduled turnarounds at major PTA plants in China ahead of the G20 summit, which was held in the country for the first time on 4-5 September.
On 5 September, prices were assessed at $608-618/tonne CFR (cost and freight) CMP (China Main Port), up $5/tonne from the previous day, rising for the second consecutive session, according to data.
Yisheng Petrochemical shut its 650,000 tonne/year PTA line in Ningbo on 2 September with no confirmed restart date. It also plans a two-week turnaround at its 2m tonne/year unit in Hainan from 10 September.
Market sources expect the companyâ€™s other PTA lines in Ningbo and Dalian to undergo maintenance this year, but this could not be confirmed with the company.
Another PTA major, Hengli Petrochemical, shut its 2.2m tonne/year No 1 PTA line in Dalian for a two-week turnaround from 1 September, and also plans a turnaround of the same duration for its No 2 PTA line at the site in the first half of October.
Its No 3 PTA line in Dalian that also has a 2.2m tonne/year capacity may be also be shut for turnaround in November.
Amid the shutdowns of major plants at the start of the month, a prompt-loading 700-tonne PTA cargo was concluded last week at $613/tonne ex-CMP on a telegraphic transfer (TT) basis.
Among other PTA plants in China, Oriental Petrochemical Shanghai Coâ€™s (OPSC) 700,000 tonne/year unit will be down from 28 August-7 September;
Tongkun Petrochemicalâ€™s 1.5m tonne/year plant is undergoing a 20-day maintenance and is scheduled to restart on 10 September.
Ningbo Mitsubishi Chemicalâ€™s 685,000 tonne/year PTA unit is expected to resume production in the first half of September after being idled for a month. Prior to shutdown, the unit has had intermittent operations.
FCFC Ningboâ€™s 1.2m tonne/year PTA unit, meanwhile, will be taken off line on 7-14 September for annual turnaround.
Shenghong Petrochemicalâ€™s 1.5m tonne/year PTA unit in Lianyungang is scheduled for a two-week turnaround from the second week of September. The unit is presently running at full capacity to build up inventory ahead of the shutdown.
Meanwhile, price support from the demand front is weak, as some downstream end-users have also taken their facilities off line and are not expected to procure cargoes until the second week of September, after the G20 summit.
The onset of colder weather will also mean weaker demand for certain segments of the downstream polyester industries, particularly the polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle-chips sector.
According to market sources, demand is not likely to increase significantly with the Mid-Autumn Festival on 15-16 September, and the week-long National Day celebration in the key China market on 1-7 October.
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