Japan's olefins, polyolefins output rises in March

30 April 2010 10:44  [Source: ICIS news]

TOKYO (ICIS news)--Japan’s petrochemical production rose in March over a year-ago period with olefins and polyolefins leading the increase in output though a few chemicals bucked the trend, according to government statistics released on Friday.

Production of ethylene increased 1.8% to 514,086 tonnes in March year on year, while propylene output rose 16% to 452,740 tonnes, according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).

The country produced 212,726 tonnes of polyethylene (PE) in March, up 23% from the corresponding year-ago period, while output of polypropylene (PP) increased by 49% to 214,961 tonnes, the METI data showed.

March production of pure benzene rose 18% to 384,907 tonnes from the year-ago period, while xylene output was up 11% to 526,673 tonnes, the ministry said.

However, production of pure toluene fell 4.1% to 109,793 tonnes in March year on year, and paraxylene output decreased 4.4% to 276,368 tonnes, according to METI.

Separately METI announced that Japan’s index of overall industrial production in March 2010 stood at 94 - with an index of 100 being the figure for average production in 2005 - depicting an increase of 31% from March 2009.

Industries that primarily contributed to the increase in industrial output in March were electrical machinery, transport equipment, iron and steel, the ministry said.

Japanese producers expect overall industrial production to rise 3.7% in April and decrease 0.3% in May, according to a survey by METI.

Industries that were forecast to contribute to the increase in April were mainly general machinery, chemicals and information and communication electronics equipment, METI said.

Industries such as transport equipment, fabricated metals and general machinery were projected to primarily contribute to the expected decrease in May, according to the ministry.

The survey of production forecast is conducted monthly, which reflects changing business conditions and provides a view of where the economy is heading in the near future, according to the ministry.

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By: Tomomi Yokomura
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