25 March 2011 18:07 [Source: ICIS news]
By Tanzeel Akhtar
LONDON (ICIS)--The 11 March earthquake in Japan has left many petrochemical plants shut or running low but it is still too early to gauge the full impact on production output, export business and downstream demand, sources said on Friday.
Opinions have been mixed and uncertain.
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"Chemicals affected by the earthquake are those that go into cars, all the chemicals used for tyres, through to seatbelts and dashboards," he added.
“It is difficult to tell how things will pan out; it all depends on how severe the shutdowns are. The petrochemicals industry is a big supplier to the end market and demand is obviously going to fall.”
Honda Motor said on Thursday that it had extended its suspension on car production at its Japanese factories until at least 3 April, from 27 March, because it continues to face difficulties in acquiring parts from suppliers.
European demand for nylon 6,6 has fallen by up to 30% this week because of the impact of the Japanese disasters on automotive production. The crisis in
But with very little acrylates cargo moving into Europe from
“Product might be taken from Europe to
Other sources have added that the Japanese disaster will only further fuel the tightness in Europe, as other key markets such as
In markets such as methanol where
Spot methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) prices in Asia shot up this week, however, by 22-24%, or $460/tonne (to $2,200-2,360/tonne CFR (cost and freight) NE (northeast) Asia due to the earthquake and tsunami.
Maruzen Petrochemical’s 170,000 tonne/year plant in Chiba, which is the largest in the region, has shut leading to a severe shortage of prompt cargoes.
“It is still too early to tell how this will affect the market," one producer said. "But with other products such as MEK and MIBK [methyl isobutyl ketone] where
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