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Spot prices of acrylic acid in Asia may see a sharp increase in Q2-Q3

January 12/2012

(ICIS) -- Spot prices of acrylic acid in Asia may see a sharp increase in the second and third quarters of the year as a spate of plant turnarounds in the northeastern and southeastern parts of the region will tighten supply, industry sources said on Thursday.

On 11 January, acrylic acid prices were assessed at a 20-month low of USD1,900-2,000/tonne (EUR1,501-1,580 /tonne) CIF (cost, insurance and freight) CMP (China Main Port). Prices were last seen below USD1,950/tonne on 14 April 2010, according to ICIS data.

Acrylic acid and several acrylic esters prices have been falling since the start of the fourth quarter due to weak demand, excess supply and concerns about the eurozone sovereign debt crisis. Regional producers will continue to grapple with a supply overhang of acrylic acid and acrylic esters in the first quarter of this year, but this scenario will definitely change moving into the second and third quarters of this year, said a northeast Asian producer.

Demand for acrylic acid usually peaks from April to September, as activities in the downstream construction and real estate industries go back on full swing during the summer and spring seasons.
Theses industries typically slow down during the fourth quarter of each year, due to the harsh winter season in northeast Asia. Acrylic esters are used in the production of paints.

But this year will see several turnarounds occurring at the onset of the peak demand season.
Japans Nippon Shokubai plans to shut its crude acrylic acid and glacial acrylic acid (GAA) plants in Java, Indonesia, from mid-June to end July for a catalyst change, said a company source said.
The company owns and operates a 60,000 tonne /year crude acrylic acid plant and a 100,000 tonne/year acrylic esters plant at the site, the source said. With the shutdown of its acrylic acid plants, Nippon Shokubais production of acrylic esters will also be affected.

Author:Marina Ivanova
Category:General News
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