10 January 2007 11:20 [Source: ICIS news]
TOKYO (ICIS news)--Japan’s total production of caustic soda in 2006 was expected to reach 4.44m tonnes, about a 2.5% decrease from the previous year, the chairman of Japan Soda Industry Association (JSIA) said on Wednesday.
377,116 tonnes of caustic soda was produced in November 2006 and the total production from January to November was 4,053,350 tonnes, figures from the association showed.
The country produced a total of 4,552,357 tonnes of caustic soda in 2005.
The chairman said that total domestic consumption for 2006 was expected to be about 3.79m tonnes and total exports were forecast at 670,000 tonnes.
Domestic consumption from January to December 2005 totalled 3,797,425 tonnes and a total of 755,775 tonnes were exported during the period, according to the association.
The chairman said that even though domestic consumption in 2006 remained the same as the previous year, there were less deliveries of the product because exports had decreased. Therefore, production also decreased slightly, he added.
While the supply-demand of caustic soda in 2005 was steady, it began to decrease from the start of 2006 and continued to decline throughout the year even though it temporarily recovered mid-year, the chairman said.
However, the supply-demand condition appeared well balanced because the amount of decrease of both production and delivery was small and product stock was low in 2006, the chairman added.
He said the soda industry would continue to face difficult circumstances this year due to high crude oil costs and expected price increases of feedstocks because of rising freight.
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