S Korea October petrochemical exports grow 17.6% on weak won

25 November 2011 10:57  [Source: ICIS news]

By Samuel Wong

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--South Korea’s petrochemical exports in October grew 17.6% year on year to $3.6bn (€2.7bn), thanks to the weak won and higher exports to China, an analyst said on Friday.

Data from the Ministry of Knowledge Economy showed that South Korea’s shipments of petroleum products to China for the month jumped by 66.7% year on year.

“Weak won currency led to an increase in exports to China, attributing to a rise in trade value for the petrochemical industry,” said Eungju Lee, a petrochemicals industry analyst at Seoul-based Shinhan Investment Corp.

Overseas shipments of most petrochemical products last month increased by volume on a year-on-year basis, data from Korea International Trade Association (KITA) showed.

Ethylene exports grew 48.2% to 68,571 tonnes, while propylene shipments nearly tripled to 121,411 tonnes. (Please see table below)

For aromatics, exports of benzene fell by 17.4% to 99,430 tonnes, while shipments of toluene increased 18.1% to 79,139 tonnes, the data showed.

Paraxylene (PX) exports jumped by 61.3% to 159,230 tonnes.

South Korea’s overall exports in October grew by 9.3% year on year to $47.4bn, with a trade surplus of $4.3bn, according to data from MKE.

MKE said that the country has remained in trade surplus for 21 consecutive months.

China and the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) accounted for 75.1% of South Korea’s total exports for the month, MKE said.

Exports of most of Korea’s key export items, including petroleum products, general machinery, automobiles, steel, automobile parts, household appliances, petrochemicals, computers and textiles showed good growths in October compared to the same period in 2010, according to MKE.

However, business optimism in the country slightly weakened for November, with the South Korean manufacturers’ confidence index slipping to 82 from 86 for October, according to the Bank of Korea.

“The European debt crisis negatively affected exporters and there was a time lag, which is a reason why the November Manufacturers’ confidence index fell,” said Lee of Shinhan Investment.

In a survey of 2,000 manufacturers by the Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry, showed business confidence rapidly cooling and anxiety building up for next year’s business planning and investments on concerns of a double-dip of the world economy.

Petrochemical demand is expected to weaken because of the debt crisis in the eurozone and the weak US economy, Lee said.

EXPORTS (in metric tonnes)

 

 

 

PRODUCT

October  '11

October '10

% Change YoY

Naphtha

255,147

390,185

-34.61

Ethylene

68,571

46,274

48.18

Benzene

99,430

120,330

-17.37

Polypropylene

78,279

63,936

22.43

Polyethylene

89,995

94,322

-4.59

LLDPE

42,959

47,850

-10.22

LDPE

24,766

21,741

13.91

HDPE

89,995

94,322

-4.59

Toluene

79,139

67,026

18.07

Propylene

121,411

46,044

163.68

Butadiene Rubber

26,374

21,101

24.99

Buta-1,3-diene and isoprene

18,437

22,956

-19.69

Styrene

142,511

126,646

12.53

Paraxylene

159,230

98,737

61.27

PET

77,561

77,395

0.21

Mixed Xylene Isomers

32,619

49,447

-34.03

PTA

318,383

285,925

11.35

MMA

2,977

154

1,833.12

PMMA

8,774

9,384

-6.5

Orthoxylene

13,602

12,736

6.8

Expansible polystyrene

10,628

12,832

-17.18

Acrylonitrile

11,286

17,597

-35.86

Polycarbonate

28,839

29,366

-1.79

Ethyl Acetate

523

1,592

-67.15

Vinyl Acetate Monomer

4,022

6,281

-35.97

Paraffin Wax (slack wax and scale wax)

626

847

-26.09

P-wax with less than 0.75%

108

66

63.64

PVC (not mixed with other substances)

53,337

47,444

12.42

PVC (non-plasticised)

233

189

23.28

PVC (plasticised)

2,273

2,199

3.37

PVC (In aqueous dispersion)

18

8

125

Source: KITA

 

($1 = €0.75)

Read John Richardson and Malini Hariharan’s blog – Asian Chemical Connections


By: Samuel Wong



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