S Korea petchem exports jump 25.2% in January on higher prices

23 February 2011 06:49  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--South Korea’s export values of petrochemicals are expected to grow further after surging 25.2% year on year to $3.41bn (€2.49bn) in January on the back of higher prices, which have been mainly fuelled by surging naphtha and crude values, analysts said on Tuesday.

The average prices of petrochemical exports rose 7.5% year on year to $1,504/tonne in January, said Hong Chanyang, a petrochemical analyst at brokerage firm Shinhan Investment in Seoul.

“Higher crude prices pushed naphtha up in January and that was positive to petrochemical companies as they are able to translate to higher prices for their products,” he said.

The average naphtha price rose 10.7% year on year to $11,873/tonne in January, Hong said, adding that February export values are expected to be higher on a year-on-year basis as Brent crude prices continue to linger around the $100/bbl mark.

“Most companies here [South Korea] have integrated operations and they are enjoying extended spreads,” said JJ Kim, an analyst at Woori Investment & Securities in Seoul.

“Over the last month, the spread of major polymers over naphtha have expanded,” he said.

“But in terms of volume growth, it has been quite flat due to limited capacity expansions,” Kim added.

Export volumes of ethylene grew 28% year on year to 54,397 tonnes in January while exports of propylene surged 61% to 56,526 tonnes, according to data from the Korea International Trade Association. (Please see table below)

Overseas shipments of methyl methacrylate (MMA), meanwhile, fell 73% year on year to 277 tonnes and exports of paraxylene (PX) dropped 13% to 90,124 tonnes, the data showed.

The continuing unrest in the Middle East and northern Africa meant that uncertainty would remain on the supply of crude, but further hikes in energy values would be positive to South Korean petrochemical companies, Kim from Woori Investment & Securities said.

However, an expected hike in operating rates throughout the region, especially in China and southeast Asia, would result in a slight over-supply situation in the latter half of the year and this could have an impact on South Korean chemical firms, Kim said.

“Petrochemical margins in the second half of the year would not be so strong,” he added.

Overall, South Korea’s exports in January surged 46% year on year to $44.9bn on the back of strong outbound shipments of semiconductors and ships, a report by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said.

Exports to most of South Korea’s key trading partners increased during the first 20 days of January, while outbound shipments to Latin America more than doubled, the report said

Total shipments to China grew 24.2% year on year in January, while exports to the US rose 35.6%, it said.

Exports to Japan rose 60.9% year on year, while cargoes heading towards the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations surged 65.2%, the report added.

Exports (in metric tonnes)

Product

Jan ‘11

Jan ‘10

YoY difference

% change YoY

Naphtha

268,411

241,282

27,129.00

11.24

Ethylene

54,397

42,525

11,872.00

27.92

Benzene

115,893

58,756

57,137.00

97.24

Polypropylene

63,361

67,455

4,094.00

6.07

Polyethylene

97,543

100,746

3,203.00

3.18

LLDPE

48,102

40,729

7,373.00

18.10

LDPE

18,178

23,469

5,291.00

22.54

HDPE

97,543

100,746

3,203.00

3.18

Toluene

80,095

67,367

12,728.00

18.89

Propylene

56,526

35,086

21,440.00

61.11

Butadiene rubber

22,451

19,534

2,917.00

14.93

Buta-1,3-diene and isoprene

19,275

20,604

1,329.00

6.45

Styrene

95,887

96,549

662.00

0.69

Paraxylene

90,124

104,015

13,891.00

13.35

PET

65,357

71,668

6,311.00

8.81

Mixed xylene isomers

68,202

51,564

16,638.00

32.27

PTA

306,242

315,542

9,300.00

2.95

MMA

277

1,023

746.00

72.92

PMMA

8,581

8,917

336.00

3.77

Orthoxylene

10,452

7,677

2,775.00

36.15

Expandable polystyrene

10,345

8,169

2,176.00

26.64

Acrylonitrile

11,786

14,172

2,386.00

16.84

Polycarbonate

30,367

27,764

2,603.00

9.38

Ethyl acetate

896

1,255

359.00

28.61

Vinyl acetate monomer

7,031

6,835

196.00

2.87

Paraffin wax (slack wax and scale wax)

775

724

51.00

7.04

P-wax with less than 0.75%

133

122

11.00

9.02

PVC (not mixed with other substances)

51,264

44,874

6,390.00

14.24

PVC (non-plasticised)

117

186

69.00

37.10

PVC (plasticised)

1,970

1,779

191.00

10.74

PVC (in aqueous dispersion)

8

45

37.00

82.22

Source: http://www.KITA.org






($1 = €0.73)

To discuss issues facing the chemical industry, go to ICIS connect


By: Nurluqman Suratman



AddThis Social Bookmark Button

For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.

Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.

Printer Friendly

ICIS news FREE TRIAL
Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.
ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)
ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index

Related Articles