S Korea's April petchem exports slip 9%, further falls likely

31 May 2010 07:30  [Source: ICIS news]

By Nurluqman Suratman

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--South Korea’s petrochemicals exports declined 9% year on year in April and may continue to fall in May due to a high base last year and uncertainties over the global economic condition, analysts said on Monday.

Strong volumes to China boosted the numbers last year, said Kim Ji-Soo, a Seoul-based petrochemical analyst at brokerage Shinhan Investment Co.

Compared to the previous month, April shipments grew 6.3%, but might be in for a decline in May as global buyers adopt a “wait-and-see” approach on growing signs that the global economy might weaken further, Kim said.

“The increase in exports in April (from March) was expected as the March to May period is traditionally a good period for exporters as manufacturing activities in Korea pick up,” she said.

“However, weakening sentiment and uncertainty in crude prices may cause a decrease in exports in May,” Kim added.

South Korea’s overall exports jumped 30% year on year in April as a recovering global economy increased demand for semiconductors and automobiles made in the country, said Lee Sung-Kwong, chief economist at Shinhan Investment.

But the rosy shipment picture could change due to the debt problems in Europe, Lee said.

“The situation in Europe will not likely have a direct impact on petrochemicals as such exports to the EU (European Union) are not very significant but it might drag down demand elsewhere,” he added.

The debt crisis in Europe could potentially derail the ongoing global economic recovery, according to analysts.

Meanwhile, South Korea’s industrial output grew 19.9% year on year in April, a sign that the economy was rebounding quickly from the global economic crisis, according to a report from government-run Statistics Korea.

Production in the mining and manufacturing sectors expanded almost 20%  last month from the same period a year earlier, with robust demand noted for semiconductors, electronics parts and automobiles, it said.
 

EXPORTS (in million tonnes)  




PRODUCT

April '10

April '09         

YoY Difference

Naphtha

221,158

254,842

  33,684.00

Ethylene                     

31,636

59,763

  28,127.00

Benzene                                             

102,829

119,918

  17,089.00

Polypropylene                        

77,044

94,980

  17,936.00

Polyethylene                          

98,045

125,770

  27,725.00

LLDPE                                  

56,815

48,821

  7,994.00

LDPE                                     

26,724

32,198

  5,474.00

HDPE                                    

98,045

125,770

  27,725.00

Toluene                                  

80,726

114,623

  33,897.00

Propylene                               

38,162

74,543

  36,381.00

Butadiene Rubber                  

18,517

23,402

  4,885.00

Buta-1,3-diene and isoprene  

21,001

16,763

  4,238.00

Styrene                                   

119,442

107,677

  11,765.00

Paraxylene                              

111,699

77,126

  34,573.00

PET                                        

76,997

74,135

  2,862.00

Mixed Xylene Isomers           

48,703

98,748

  50,045.00

PTA

317,064

301,323

  15,741

PMMA                                   

8,988  

9,429  

  441.00

Orthoxylene                           

6,791  

13,635

  6,844.00

Polyurethane                          

3,386  

2,584  

  802.00

Expansible polystyrene          

11,686

11,435

  251.00

Acrylonitrile                           

18,275

13,751

  4,524.00

Polycarbonate                        

30,863

32,796

  1,933.00

Ethyl Acetate                         

842     

2,500  

  1,658.00

Vinyl Acetate Monomer        

11,706

10,902

  804.00

Ethyl alcohol & other spirits  

51.00  

43.00  

  8.00

Paraffin Wax (slack wax and scale wax)

733     

277     

  456.00

P-wax with less than 0.75%                 

78       

74       

  4.00

PVC (not mixed with other substances)

51,920

70,328

  18,408.00

PVC (non-plasticised)            

199     

268     

  69.00

PVC (plasticised)                   

1,955  

1,472  

  483.00

PVC (In aqueous dispersion) 

76       

9         

  67.00

Source: Korea International Trade Association (KITA)

Read John Richardson and Malini Hariharan’s blog – Asian Chemical Connections
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By: Nurluqman Suratman



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