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Chinas ethylene production in March jumped 25.4%

April 18/2011

(ICIS) -- Chinas ethylene (C2) production in March jumped 25.4% year on year to 1.36 m tonnes, bringing its total first-quarter output of the material to 3.95 m tonnes, official statistics showed on Monday. Compared to February, production last month was 102 KT higher, according to data from China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Federation (CPCIF). March ethylene production has had to keep up with increased requirement from downstream polyethylene (PE) sector, market sources said. But it looks like production of the basic petrochemical building block may come off this month as a 1m tonne/year cracker in Tianjin is scheduled for a turnaround, market sources said.

The cracker, jointly operated by Saudi Arabias SABIC and Chinas stated-owned energy firm Sinopec, is due for a 20-day maintenance this month, said a source at operator Sinopec SABIC Tianjin Petrochemical, without disclosing the exact dates of the shutdown period.

Meanwhile, a much smaller 160 KTa ethylene plant in Beijing, owned by Sinopec unit, Beijing Eastern Petrochemical, will be out for eight days in April, said a company source.

In 2010, China produced 13.7m tonnes of ethylene and imported 815.4 KT of the material. It exported very little of the monomer at just 33.5 KT  last year, according to official statistics.

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