Planned maintenance at 22 Asian crackers in 2010, Middle East capacities to benefit

About 22 Asian crackers, with a combined capacity exceeding 13 mln tons are scheduled for routine maintenance shutdowns this year. Since a turnaround usually continues for 30-45 days, run rate is down for that time period and reduced for approximately one month after the start up while production is augmenting. This is expected to result in a loss in supply from Asia for 2010 to 2.5 mln tons. This is equivalent to two new world-scale plant start-ups and majorly above levels of 2009 when a loss of 1.4 mln tons was seen with 15 maintenance shutdowns. Ethylene and derivative demand is expected to be fairly tight through H1-10 due to the shutdowns in Asia, possibly leading to firmer petrochemical prices.
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