SINGAPORE Oct 9 Taiwan's Formosa Petrochemical Corp has delayed receiving two naphtha shipments to November from October after it cut operating rates at its 2.93 million tonnes per year (tpy) naphtha cracking complex, traders said on Tuesday.
Formosa, Asia's top naphtha buyer, cut its crackers' run rates to about 80 percent of capacity in late September following a fire at a monoethylene glycol (MEG) plant operated by its sister company Nan Ya Plastics.
Naphtha is cracked into ethylene, among other hydrocarbon products. Formosa supplies some ethylene to Nan Ya Plastics to be made into MEG, which is used in the production of polyester (PET) resins, among other things.
Traders estimated the shipments to be deferred likely totalled about 60,000 tonnes of naphtha, or about 40 percent of approximately 150,000 tonnes Formosa had bought last month for October delivery to Mailiao.
The cracking complex will operate at the reduced rate throughout October, which would result in a loss of nearly 160,000 tonnes of naphtha demand this month.
It had already cancelled a tender to buy November naphtha after the fire at the MEG plant.
Traders said the decision to defer the 60,000 tonnes was likely made 1-1/2 weeks ago. (Reporting by Seng Li Peng; Editing by Alison Birrane)