Japan's domestic shipments of primary resins up over 10% in Feb

19 March 2010 09:39  [Source: ICIS news]

TOKYO (ICIS news)--Japan’s domestic shipments of all four primary resins increased by more than 10% year on year in February due to a recovering trend in the production activities of the user industries, a local industry association said on Friday.

This was the second consecutive month of a year-on-year rise of more than 10% for the resins - low density polyethylene (LDPE), high density polyethylene (HDPE), polystyrene (PS) and polypropylene (PP), Japan Petrochemical Industry Association (JPCA) said.

Among the four resins, domestic shipments of PS recorded the largest increase, rising 33% year on year to 197,600 tonnes, according to the JPCA.

Production of all the four resins also increased significantly in February compared with the year before, according to data from the JPCA.

February production of HDPE rose 83% year on year to 90,800 tonnes, while the PP output increased 65% year on year to 257,300 tonnes, the JPCA said.

Similarly, LDPE output rose by 16% year on year to 118,200 tonnes while PS production was up 54% year on year to 59,400 tonnes, according to JPCA.

February exports of HDPE and PS increased from the year-ago period, while those of LDPE and PP decreased year on year, the JPCA added.

Meanwhile, production of ethylene was at 593,200 tonnes in February, up 28% year on year due to a rise in the cracker operating rates, according to the association.

The average operating rate of the country’s naphtha crackers in February was 97%, up from 75% in the previous year, the JPCA said.

One naphtha cracker was shut for a maintenance turnaround in February, while no crackers were undergoing turnarounds in the same period a year before, the JPCA added.

Plants of most other primary petrochemical products including styrene monomer (SM), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), methyl methacrylate (MMA), ethylene oxide (EO), acrylonitrile (ACN), styrene butadiene rubber (SBR), benzene, toluene and xylenes had higher output in February due to improved operating rates compared with the previous year, the JPCA said.

However, production of ethylene glycol (EG) and vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) decreased year on year, the JPCA said without stating any reason.

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By: Tomomi Yokomura
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