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Braskem-Idesa PE capacity ran at 32% in 2Q

HOUSTON, August 4, 2016 (PCW) -- Braskem’s new joint venture PE complex in Mexico ran at 32% of capacity in 2Q 2016, according to company earnings released today, with total resin production of 83,000 mt.

The Braskem-Idesa plant, with an annual PE capacity of 1.05 million mt, recorded resin sales of 54,000 mt as it built up inventory.

US customers expect to receive commercial samples of HDPE IM grades from Mexico in August as Braskem-Idesa ramps up its marketing operations in North America.

All three units at the plant in Coatzacoalcos have been started up, although it is has not been confirmed that the LDPE unit is producing on-spec material.

In other business results, Braskem’s olefins plants in Brazil operated at 94% capacity in 2Q, feeding resin production of 1.2 million mt.

In other business results, Braskem’s olefins plants in Brazil operated at 94% capacity in 2Q, feeding resin production of 1.2 million mt.

Resin exports from Brazil increased to 454,000 mt in 2Q, up 21% versus a year earlier. Resin exports were up 9% from 1Q 2016.

Braskem’s PP assets in the US and Europe averaged 103% capacity utilization, with total production of 513,000 mt. Sales volumes reached 504,000 mt, buoyed by strong demand from the US automotive sector and improving demand from Italy, Germany and the UK, the company noted.

US PP spreads, representing the difference between general purpose PP homopolymer prices and the propylene monomer (PGP) price, stood at $742/mt in 2Q, down 14% from the prior quarter but up 55% from a year earlier.

Braskem said the higher volume of US PP imports in 2Q contributed to the decline in spreads versus 1Q. -- David Barry

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