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In Asia demand for ammonia has weakened

October 14/2011

(ICIS) -- Asias demand for ammonia has weakened as acrylonitrile (ACN) and nitric acid producers in South Korea and Taiwan have lowered the operating rates at their facilities because of falling prices against high feedstock costs, sources said on Friday.


Ammonia is a raw material used in the production of ACN, nitric acid and caprolactam (capro).
South Koreas Tongsuh Petrochemical is running its 70,000 tonne/year and 230,000 tonne/year ACN plants in Ulsan at about 80% capacity, a source familiar with the companys operations said.
However, the company is considering reducing the rates further to 70% or less in the coming weeks as its inventories are high and ACN prices are falling, the source added.


Samsung Fine Chemicals is the main supplier of ammonia to Tongsuh Petrochemical for the latters ACN production and to South Korean producer Capro Corp for its caprolactam production, according to a source from the former company.


The lower operating rates at Tongsuh Petrochemicals units and maintenance shutdowns at Capro Corps 150,000 tonne/year and 60,000 tonne/year capro units in Ulsan are expected to lower Samsung Fine Chemicals ammonia requirements by around 20,000-25,000 tonnes this month, a company source said.


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