Japan increases output of several chemicals in May - JPCA

17 June 2010 13:21  [Source: ICIS news]

TOKYO (ICIS news)--Japan posted increased output for a variety of chemicals in May, while domestic shipments of all four primary resins during the month fell as the result of a week-long public holiday, an industry association said on Thursday.

The country’s ethylene output in May rose 11% month on month to 560,900 tonnes due to a higher average operating rate of domestic naphtha crackers, the Japan Petrochemical Industry Association (JPCA) said.

Year on year, Japan’s ethylene output in May was down 3.6%, it said.

The average operating rate of Japan’s crackers in May was 96%, which was up from 93% in April and 92% in May 2009, the association said.

Three crackers were shut for turnarounds in May and April, while two units underwent turnarounds in May 2009, JPCA said.

In addition to ethylene, Japan’s output of low density polyethylene (LDPE), high density polyethylene (HDPE), styrene monomer (SM), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), styrene butadiene rubber (SBR), butadiene rubber (BR), benzene and toluene was higher in May compared with April due to the increased number of days the plants operated during the month as well as the difference in the scale of the turnarounds from the previous month, the association said.

Year on year, production of HDPE, polypropylene (PP), PVC, methyl methacrylate (MMA), acrylonitrile (ACN), SBR, BR, benzene and toluene increased due to operating factors and the scale of plants’ turnarounds, according to JPCA.

Domestic shipments in May of all four primary resins – LDPE, HDPE, PP and polystyrene (PS) – decreased from April due to Japan’s “Golden Week” holiday, when many companies close for up to a week, the association said.

Among domestic shipments of the four resins, LDPE showed the largest month-on-month decrease – by 22% to 103,500 tonnes – according to JPCA.

Year on year, domestic shipments of LDPE and HDPE increased, while shipments of PS remained at the same level as the previous year, and shipments of PP decreased, the association said.

Shipments of HDPE showed the largest year-on-year increase – by 3% to 65,800 tonnes – while shipments of PP were down 3% to 181,500 tonnes, according to JPCA.

Separately, Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) on Thursday said the country consumed a total of 2.44m kilolitres of naphtha for use as a petrochemical feedstock in April.

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By: Tomomi Yokomura
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