Japan's petrochemical output increases on multiple restarts – JPCA

20 May 2011 09:23  [Source: ICIS news]

TOKYO (ICIS)--The restart of some of Japan’s petrochemical plants have resulted in an increase in the country’s output of petrochemical products in April, the Japan Petrochemical Industry Association (JPCA) said in a statement on Friday.

The plants were shut down following the massive earthquake and tsunami, which hit northern Japan on 11 March.

The country’s production of seven products out of 18 primary chemicals, including high density polyethylene (HDPE), polystyrene (PS), acrylonitrile (ACN), styrene butadiene rubber (SBR), butadiene rubber (BR) and toluene, increased from March because of the differences in scale of the scheduled maintenance and operating factors at the plants, the statement said.

Japan’s output of 10 products, including ethylene, low density polyethylene (LDPE), polypropylene (PP), styrene monomer (SM), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), vinyl chloride (monomer) (VCM), benzene and xylene, decreased in April year on year because of the impact of the disaster and the plants’ operating factors, the statement said.

The output of SBR showed the largest month-on-month increase by 44% to 34,500 tonnes in April, up by 1% from the same period in 2010, while 66,500 tonnes of ACN was produced, up by 5% from March and a 53% increase from a year earlier, the statement said.

’s production of toluene increased by 5% to 117,100 tonnes in April from March, and increased by 15% from April 2010.

The exports of three out of the four primary resins, namely LDPE, HDPE and PP, decreased from the previous month because producers had prioritised
domestic shipments over exports to meet the demand of the relief works following the disaster, the statement said.

xports of LDPE fell by 24% to 17,000 tonnes from March, a decrease of 22% from April 2010. Exports of HDPE were down by 20% to 7,900 tonnes month on month and decreased by 32% year on year, according to the statement.

Exports of PP decreased by 67% to 13,000 tonnes from the previous month and decreased by 18% from a year earlier.

The country’s exports of PS rose by 22% to 2,200 tonnes month on month and decreased by 1% year on year, the statement added.
Japan produced 503,000 tonnes of ethylene in April, down by 2.3% from March and a 0.6% decrease from April 2010, the statement said.

The average operating rates of Japan’s naphtha crackers was at 91.2% in April, an increase from 90.3% in March. However, the rates decreased from 93.2% in April 2010, according to the statement.

’s largest cracker operator, Mitsubishi Chemical, restarted its 453,000 tonne/year No 2 cracker at Kashima in Ibaraki prefecture on Friday.

Please visit the complete ICIS plants and projects database
Click here for the latest updates on the Japan disaster

By: Tomomi Yokomura
+65 6780 4359

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