South Korea's LG Chem may extend maintenance at Yeosu naphtha cracker

 (Reuters) - South Korean petrochemical operator LG Chem may extend maintenance at its naphtha cracker for a month into December, a company official said on Wednesday, to deal with unattractive cracking margins.

The company had started planned maintenance for its 1.16-MMt Yeosu cracker at the end of September. It was expected to last until November.

"This time we are taking things more flexibly considering the market situation, and we could take this ongoing maintenance into December," the official said.

Asian refiners have been struggling with negative naphtha margins stemming from poor petrochemical demand. The cracking margin for naphtha in the region dropped to a discount of $22.85 a ton on Tuesday against Brent crude oil.

LG Chem operates three naphtha crackers with total ethylene capacity of 3.3 MMtpy.

(Reporting by Mohi Narayan in New Delhi and Heekyong Kang in Seoul; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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