Japan's PVC exports plummet 62% year on year in January

15 February 2012 09:22  [Source: ICIS news]

TOKYO (ICIS)--Japan’s polyvinyl chloride (PVC) exports plummeted by 62% year on year to 18,203 tonnes in January, due partly to the appreciation of yen, the chairman of the Vinyl Environmental Council (VEC) said on Wednesday.

“I’ve never heard a number like this [for Japan’s PVC exports] before…there has not been a month with such a [low] number,” the VEC chairman, Shigeaki Nakahara, told a news conference.

Concurrently with the appreciation of yen, the prices of PVC and all the other petrochemical products fell significantly in Asia around November, Nakahara said.

Nakahara, who is also the chairman of Tokuyama Corp, said his company and many other Japanese producers had been focusing on domestic shipments.

PVC exports in January decreased by 18% from the previous month, according to VEC.

The country’s production of PVC rose 2.7% to 110,508 tonnes in January from December, a 23% decline from the corresponding period a year earlier, the VEC data showed.

Japan’s domestic shipments of PVC increased 4.8% month on month and fell 3.8% year on year to 84,711 tonnes in January, based on the data.

Demand for PVC for the relief works of the earthquake and tsunami which hit northeastern Japan on 11 March 2011 has not yet sprung up, Nakahara added.

He said businesses were first expecting that relief work-related demand will emerge in the second half of 2011 but that did not happen and now there were expectations that demand will pick up in the new fiscal year starting 1 April.

“The new fiscal year is approaching, but [restoration-related demand] has not emerged at all,” he said, adding that demand is likely to emerge once all the rubble has been removed from the damaged areas.

By: Tomomi Yokomura
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