26 May 2009 12:53 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Singapore recorded a 21.6% year-on-year drop in its April chemical manufacturing output due to a series of unplanned shutdowns, the Economic Development Board (EDB) said on Tuesday.
Manufacturing output for petrochemicals fell 19.2%, while specialties and petroleum were down 21.1% and 23.0% respectively. EDB, a state-linked planning agency, did not provide an absolute volume of molecules that were produced for the period.
The figures come in the wake of a number of recent shutdowns.
In the last week of April, ExxonMobil Singapore reported a "temporary disruption" at one of its aromatics production lines. Industry sources told ICIS news earlier that the petrochemical giant had delayed the restart of a reformer that was taken offline in March.
Petrochemical Corporation of Singapore (PCS) shut its 475,000 tonne/year No 1 cracker on 16 April due to a power failure. The unplanned outage then triggered a series of shutdowns at the downstream polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) units of various companies, such as The Polyolefin Company (TPC) and Chevron Philips.
On a cumulative basis, the chemicals sector posted a 22.5% decline in manufacturing output for the four months to 30 April.
Similarly, the Singapore electronics cluster, an important downstream industry for the chemicals sector, fell 24.2% year on year. However, the dip was significantly less than the 34.4% and 38.4% fall recorded in March and February respectively.Overall manufacturing output for April contracted marginally by 0.5%, as a significant surge of production activities in the country’s biomedical manufacturing industry made up for the declines in other business sectors.
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