Taiwanese petrochem majors to tap emerging markets and cut output to counter lackluster demand from China

26-Sep-08
Lackluster buying sentiments that are prevalent in Chinese polymer markets have had a dramatic effect on demand as well as prices in the Asian region. Demand for polymers faces a major setback in China as uncertainty prevails in the US economic scenario- the largest market for Chinese plastics processors. Producers of ethylene derivatives - Taiwan Styrene Monomer Corp, Grand Pacific Petrochemical Corp, Union Petrochemical Corp, China Man-made Fiber Corp and Oriental Union Chemical Corp are also cutting back on production. This reduced demand has compelled petrochem majors in Taiwan to announce a cutback in operating rates manufacturers and also explore and tap emerging markets in Eastern Europe, Brazil, Republic of South Africa, India and Vietnam. Production cuts have been announced in Taiwan for polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, styrene monomer, ethylene glycol and purified terephthalic acid. Maintenance turnarounds and repair shutdowns have also been scheduled in this period of laid back demand, to enable producers solve the problem of stockpiling. Repair work is underway at Formosa's No 3 ethylene plant with 1.2 mln tons capacity. Nan Ya Plastics Corporation and Formosa Chemical & Fibre Corporation have followed suit. Also as demand continues to wane and oil prices seem to have embarked on a downtrend, most feedstock and polymer prices are continuing to deteriorate. USI Far East Corp, Asia Polymer Corp and Taiwan Styrene Monomer Corp have reduced buying of ethylene from CPC Corp Taiwan as the quotation from CPC is US$300/MT more than prevalent spot price.
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