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Asian ACN makers cut production in the hope of halting decreased prices

October 24/2011

(ICIS) -- Acrylonitrile (ACN) makers in Asia have cut production in the hope of halting an unabated decline of product prices that is now on its sixth month, industry sources said on Monday. Spot ACN prices have tumbled by more than $1,000/tonne (?720/tonne) from early May to $1,700-1,750/tonne CFR (cost and freight) northeast (NE) Asia in the week ended 21 October, ICIS data showed.

Regional ACN producers such as Asahi Kasei in Japan, Tongsuh Petrochemical in South Korea and  Formosa Plastics Corp in Taiwan are currently running their plants at about 80% of capacity, industry sources said. УWe will continue to run at about 80% of our total production capacities at our plants in Japan and South Korea until demand recovers,Ф said a company source at Asahi Kasei.

Asahi Kasei can produce a total of 765,000 tonnes/year of ACN at its plants in South Korea and Japan. Its fully-owned subsidiary, Tongsuh Petrochemical has an ACN capacity of 315,000 tonne/year at Ulsan in South Korea, while its other two plants at Kawasaki and Mizushima in Japan have a combined capacity of 450,000 tonnes/year.

In China, Jilin Petrochemical has shut down two lines in Jilin that each have 106,000 tonne/year capacity. One line was shut in early October, with no firm date when the unit will resume production, a source at the company said. The other line has been shut since April. Jilin has two other ACN lines, each with a capacity of 120,000 tonnes/year at the same site, that are running at normal rates.

In Taiwan, China Petrochemical Development Corp (CPDC) has brought forward a 40-day turnaround at one of its two ACN lines in Kaohsiung to early October from its original date in November because of the current weak prices, a company source said.

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