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Thai SM makers may delay plant shutdowns amid strong prices

October 07/2010

SINGAPORE (ICIS)  --  Styrene monomer (SM) producers in Thailand are considering delaying scheduled maintenance at plants to take advantage of the current strong spot prices of the material, market sources said on Thursday.

 

Spot prices rose above $1,250/tonne (?900/tonne) CFR (cost and freight) China this week, up more than $100/tonne from $1,150/tonne CFR China a month ago, based on ICIS data, largely due to buoyant demand for styrenics.

 

Integrated Refinery & Petrochemical Complex (IRPC) was inclined to push back its planned 30-day maintenance at its 200,000 tonne/year SM facility in mid-October, said a company source.

 

УThe postponement of the maintenance is currently being discussed due to strong SM and styrenics prices," the source said.

 

IRPC also operates a 100,000 tonne/year PS and a 100,000 tonne/year acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) units at the petrochemical complex, as well as a 30,000 tonne/year expandable polystyrene (EPS) unit.

 

Another producer, Siam Styrene Monomer Co (SSMC), may also delay the scheduled maintenance of its 300,000 tonne/year SM unit in Mab Ta Phut from mid-November, said market source.

 

SM values were enjoying a good run due to the seasonally buoyant demand for styrenic resins, particularly in China, where the manufacturing season typically lasts from August to October.

 

However, with the long holidays across China in recent weeks, factories were expected to continue running at high production rates possibly into November, market sources said.

 

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