19 June 2009 10:17 [Source: ICIS news]
TOKYO (ICIS news)--Japan’s production of ethylene in May increased 2.9% to 577,600 tonnes compared with April due to a rise in the average operating rate of the country's naphtha crackers from April to May, the Japan Petrochemical Industry Association (JPCA) said in a statement released on Friday.
The average operating rate of naphtha crackers in May rose 3.2 percentage points from April to 91.7%, the JPCA said.
Ethylene production in May decreased 2.8% from the same month a year before, while the average operating rate of crackers was 97.3% in May 2008, according to the association.
Two crackers operated by an unnamed producer were shut for turnarounds in May, while no crackers were undergoing turnarounds in April, the JPCA said.
Three crackers operated by two producers were having turnarounds in May 2008, it added.
Among 17 chemicals other than ethylene, 11 products – including low density polyethylene (LDPE), high density polyethylene (HDPE), polystyrene (PS), styrene monomer (SM) and styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) – had higher output in May compared with April due to the increased number of days the plants were operating as well as the difference in the scale of turnarounds, the association said.
Of the 11 products with higher output, production of SBR rose 54% to 34,500 tonnes compared with April, the biggest increase, according to the JPCA.
Year on year, output of 13 products – including LDPE, HDPE, polypropylene (PP), PS, acetaldehyde and SBR – fell in May due to operating factors, the association said.
Among these chemicals, acetaldehyde saw the greatest fall – to 18,200 tonnes – which was down 33% from April, the JPCA said.
Among the four primary resins – including LDPE, HDPE, PP and PS – exports of LDPE, HDPE and PP in May increased both month on month and year on year due to a favourable export environment, according to the association.
Exports of HDPE in May almost doubled – to 27,100 tonnes – compared with the same time a year before, the JPCA said.
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