South Korea's Lotte Chemical is expected to restore normal runs at its naphtha cracker in Yeosu in about two weeks after technical problems led to cuts in operating rates at the 1 mln tpa unit, trade sources said in Reuters. The petrochemical maker cut the operating rates to about 75% earlier this week, but it was unclear what the operating rates had been before the cuts as the cracker had undergone a month-long maintenance, and restarted operations earlier this month. A Lotte Chemical spokesman was not available for comment.
"The downtime will result in a demand lost of about 45,000 tons of naphtha," a Singapore-based trader said on Thursday.
Although the volumes were small, traders said it would still hurt the sellers as they have been struggling under high stockpiles for most of the year.
Lotte Chemical operates another 1 million tpa cracker in Daesan and the unit is operating at full capacity, the sources said.