APIC '09: South Korea petchems export value to fall 25% in 2009

14 May 2009 16:21  [Source: ICIS news]

SEOUL (ICIS news)--The value of petrochemical exports from South Korea is expected to drop 25% year-on-year to $24.10bn in 2009 partly due to the global economic slump, the Korea Petrochemical Industry Association (KPIA) said on Thursday.

“Market conditions will remain slow as supply becomes excessive due to new facilities that have started operations in the Middle East and Asian regions since the second half of 2008,” said KPIA in a report to delegates at the 9th Asia Petrochemical Industry Conference (APIC).

The value of petrochemical exports from the country stood at $32.12bn in 2008.

In terms of volume, petrochemical exports, however, were expected to grow to 23.50m tonnes this year compared with 22.99m tonnes in 2008. The industry is still heavily reliant on exports to China and Hong Kong, with an estimated 51% of the cargoes headed to these two markets.

For key basic chemicals such as ethylene, production of the monomer is expected to edge higher by only 1.1% to 7.15m tonnes in 2009 from a year earlier partly due to the lack of new and expanded facilities.

While supply of ethylene and propylene remained tight in the first half of 2009 due to strong derivative polyolefins pricing and lower operating rates, this was expected to loosen in the second half of the year on the back of new cracker and derivative unit start-ups in the Middle East and China, KPIA said.

APIC '09 began on 14 May and ends on 15 May

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By: Peh Soo Hwee
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