22 May 2009 11:52 [Source: ICIS news]
TOKYO (ICIS news)--Japan’s production of ethylene in April totalled 551,200 tonnes, which was up by more than 9% from March due to higher operating rates at the country’s naphtha crackers, the Japan Petrochemical Industry Association (JPCA) said on Friday.
This showed a 3.3% decrease compared with April 2008, the association said.
The average operating rate of the crackers in April was 87%, up from 74% in March and down from 94% in March 2008, JPCA said.
None of the crackers was shut for a turnaround in March or April 2009. Two crackers operated by unnamed producers underwent turnarounds in April 2008, according to the association.
Among the 17 chemical products other than ethylene, 14 products had higher month-on-month output totals in April due to operating factors and the scales of turnarounds, JPCA said.
Among the four primary resins – LDPE, HDPE, PP and PS – domestic shipments in April of LDPE and HDPE, mainly for film applications, increased from the previous month despite weak demand from most downstream industries, JPCA said.
Compared with the previous year, domestic shipments in April of all four resins continued to decline by more than 9%, but the percentage of the fall was smaller than the previous months' declines, the association said.
Exports in April of LDPE, HDPE and PP decreased month on month because exports in March were relatively high due to the end-of-the-fiscal year adjustments, according to JPCA.
However, exports in April of LDPE and HDPE increased significantly compared with the previous year, JPCA said.
The figures for April 2008 were lower than the usual monthly amount, the association said.
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