The 2-ethyl hexanol market gained this week as tighter spot supply lent firmer support to the spot market. Two major 2-ethyl hexanol producers in Asia had shut or were planning to shut down their plants for turnaround. Taiwan’s Nan Ya Plastics will restart its 2-ethyl hexanol unit by March 1, after it was shut down unexpectedly due to a technical issue two days ago, a company source said Friday. The 2-EH unit is located at Mailiao and has a production capacity of 205,000 mt/yr. “We had to shut down the 2-EH unit due to technical issues, and we are aiming to restart the plant by March 1,” said a company source. The source added that “the production outage due to this unexpected shutdown will cost us around 10,000 mt of 2-EH.” “We have no 2-EH to offer after Friday, as we need the existing 2-EH stockpiles for our DOP production,” said the company source at Nan Ya Plastics, the largest 2-EH producer in Taiwan. Meanwhile, South Korea’s Hanwha Chemical will shut its 120,000 mt/year 2-ethyl hexanol unit at Yeosu from March 1 for a 31-day planned maintenance, a company source said Friday. “We are going to shut down our 2-EH plant on March 1 and restart around April 1,” the company source said. Hanwha Chemical is one of the largest 2-EH producers in South Korea. Industry sources said these shutdowns are expected to push up the 2-EH market. 2-EH was assessed up $10/mt on the week at $1,045/mt CFR China Friday. However, demand for other oxo-alcohol products such as dioctyl phthalate and phthalic anhydride from Chinese buyers remained tepid, and this lead to lower offers and bids, and pulled down the spot market “The Chinese buyers have not come back yet. I think more restocking will come back after they come back from the Lunar New Year next week,” a source said.
Dioctyl phthalate was assessed down $15/mt week on week at $1,035/mt CFR China Friday, below a selling indication at $1,040/mt CFR China, and above a buying indication at $1,030/mt CFR China. The CFR Southeast Asia marker was assessed unchanged over the same period at $1,210/mt, based on three spot trades totalling over 500 mt, in the range of $1,200-$1,220/mt CFR SEA. Phthalic anhydride was assessed down $30/mt on week at $870/mt CFR China, below a selling indication heard at $880/mt CFR China. The CFR SEA marker was assessed up $5/mt on week at $970/mt CFR SEA, based on three spot trades concluded at $965-$980/mt CFR SEA. 2-EH was assessed up $10/mt on the week at $1,045/mt CFR China, below a selling indications heard at $1,050/mt CFR China, and above a buying indication at $1,040/mt CFR China. The Southeast Asia marker was assessed up $10/mt on week at $1,085/mt, on a stronger adjacent market. Normal butanol was assessed unchanged on week at $910/mt CFR China and CFR Southeast Asia on muted trading.