Japan’s March PS output increases 27%, SM production falls 13%

20 April 2010 13:09  [Source: ICIS news]

TOKYO (ICIS news)--Japan’s production of polystyrene (PS) in March increased 27% year on year to 59,808 tonnes, according to statistics from an industry association released on Tuesday.

This was a 1% increase from February, according to the Japan Styrene Industry Association (JSIA).

While total domestic demand for PS in March showed an increase of 5%, both year on year and month on month, to 60,519 tonnes, exports were up 15% from the same month last year and increased 14% from February to 2,910 tonnes, the figures showed.

Looking at domestic demand, shipments of PS for the industrial and electric end-use markets, compared with other applications, showed the largest year-on-year increase – by 53% – to 13,070 tonnes, according to JSIA.

Production of styrene monomer (SM), a feedstock of PS, decreased in March 13% year on year to 196,760 tonnes, JSIA said.

This was a 16% decline from February, according to the association.

Total domestic demand for SM in March stood at 117,278 tonnes, up 34% year on year and down 4% month on month, the association said.

Exports of SM in March fell 29% year on year to 110,759 tonnes and increased 11% from February, JSIA said.

Among SM’s different applications, March shipments for use in acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) resin more than doubled to 17,977 tonnes from the same time the year before, the association said.

In March, Asahi Kasei shut down its 300,000 tonne/year SM unit in Mizushima, in Okayama prefecture, for maintenance.

In May, Denki Kagaku Kogyo (Denka) plans to shut its PS and SM units for turnarounds.

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By: Tomomi Yokomura
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