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Braskem Sao Paulo petchems complex partly shut for maintenance until late May

Highlights

Chemical, PE units affected

Inventories were increased to supply the market

Sao Paulo — Brazilian petrochemicals producer Braskem partly stopped operations at its Sao Paulo complex April 5 for a 51-day planned maintenance, the company has said.

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The work stoppage affects the chemicals and polyethylene units in the complex, Braskem said in a statement. The work includes modifying the steam-based turbines in one of the chemical plants to allow for the use of high performance electric motors.

Braskem warned there might be some flaring during the first and last days of the maintenance.

The company said it has planned an increase in its inventory levels so the supply chain will not be affected by the maintenance.

Supply and demand seem balanced in Brazil for the next couple of months, as resins consumption is down, according to a trader at a converter.

"The packaging market is too weak and getting worse for the next two months," the trader said. "Which, by the way, is a seasonal behavior."

Another trader, however, said believed the local market might see some shortage on polyethylene, since there is less product arriving from the US. More than half of imported PE entering Brazil comes from the US.