26 July 2002 09:58 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (CNI)--Singapore's chemicals cluster grew by 24.1% in June this year compared to the same month in 2001, buoyed by rising petrochemical output and higher exports of industrial and speciality chemicals, according to the Economic Development Board (EDB).
The EDB said the 35.7% increase in petrochemical production in June was partly due to lower output in June last year arising from maintenance shutdowns in some petrochemical plants. Output had also been boosted by new plants which had started up operations in the last half of 2001.
The 36% rise in output of industrial/speciality chemicals year-on-year was due to the higher production of both existing and new products for export to regional markets, the EDB said.
In addition, better margins stimulated more crude oil refining in June this year while output was low in June last year due to low margins.
Cumulatively, the chemicals cluster's output grew by 8.3% in the first half of this year, although that was dragged down by low output from oil refiniries in the first few months.
Overall, Singapore's manufacturing sector continued to grow in June with an increase in output of 18.9% year-on-year.
The growth was largely due to higher output from the biomedical sciences cluster which enjoyed a 137.6% increase in output year-on-year, due mainly to the pharmaceuticals segment which grew by 168.5%.
The manufacturing sector's June production brought Singapore's cumulative output growth to 4.7% for the first half of this year compared to the first half of 2001.
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