S Korea December petchem exports rise 6.2% on China demand

22 January 2013 10:05  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--South Korea’s petrochemical exports in December 2012 rose by 6.2% year on year to $3.89bn (€2.92bn), buoyed by higher demand from China, its key market, an economist said on Tuesday.

“Petrochemicals and oil products [exports] saw an increase in December as the demand for intermediate goods in China grew,” said Lee Sung-kwon, chief economist at Seoul-based Shinhan Investment Corp.

Export volumes of ethylene surged by 69.7% year on year to 105,058 tonnes in December, while shipments of benzene rose by 8.66% to 124,712 tonnes, according to data from the Korea International Trade Association (KITA). (Please see table below)

Overseas shipments of toluene fell by 28.9% year on year to 75,532 tonnes in December, while shipments of propylene slipped by 4.07% to 105,724 tonnes.

Meanwhile, the country’s exports of petroleum products inched up by 0.3% to $4.54bn in December last year, said Lee from Shinhan Investment.

Overall exports from South Korea in December fell by 5.5% year on year to $45.1bn, while imports dipped by 5.3% to $43.1bn, according to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE).

For the whole of 2012, petrochemical exports grew by 0.7% to $45.9bn, while shipments of petroleum products rose by 8.9% to $56.2bn, the MKE said.

Overall exports fell by 1.3% year on year to $548.2bn in 2012, while imports slipped by 0.9% to $519.5bn, it said. This resulted in a $28.6bn trade surplus for South Korea. China accounted for almost 25% of South Korea’s overall exports last year, according to the MKE.

“Outbound shipments to emerging markets rose, but overall exports fell 1.3% from a year earlier due to the eurozone downturn and sluggish performances in major export items, such as ships and wireless communications devices,” it added.

Looking ahead, overall exports are expected to improve in January 2013, which has more working days compared with the same period last year, according to Lee of Shinhan Investment.

South Korea’s overall exports this month are projected to grow by 11.7% year on year to $46bn, he said.

For the whole of 2013, the country’s overall exports are expected to rise by 5.5% to $578.3bn, buoyed by the “reinvigoration of the Chinese economy… and some stabilisation of the eurozone economy,” Lee said.

PRODUCT (in tonnes)

Dec '12

Dec '11

YoY Difference

% Change YoY

Ethylene

105058

61902

43,156

69.72

Benzene

124712

114768

9,944

8.66

Polypropylene

93396

87012

6,384

7.34

Polyethylene

117193

99002

18,191

18.37

LLDPE

45019

36878

8,141

22.08

LDPE

26571

25363

1,208

4.76

HDPE

117,193

99002

18,191

18.37

Toluene

75532

106176

-30,644

-28.86

Propylene

105724

110204

-4,480

-4.07

Butadiene Rubber

29595

34635

-5,040

-14.55

Buta-1,3-diene and isoprene

20853

24089

-3,236

-13.43

Styrene

112937

118408

-5,471

-4.62

Paraxylene

221180

168355

52,825

31.38

PET

42212

91184

-48,972

-53.71

Mixed Xylene Isomers

47182

41317

5,865

14.20

PTA

251451

325110

-73,659

-22.66

MMA

739

3311

-2,572

-77.68

PMMA

8480

7985

495

6.20

Orthoxylene

6002

10851

-4,849

-44.69

Expansible polystyrene

9424

9707

-283

-2.92

Acrylonitrile

20026

21749

-1,723

-7.92

Polycarbonate

35392

33376

2,016

6.04

Ethyl Acetate

44

1021

-977

-95.69

Vinyl Acetate Monomer

1550

5860

-4,310

-73.55

Paraffin Wax (slack wax and scale wax)

342

544

-202

-37.13

P-wax with less than 0.75%

95

110

-15

-13.64

PVC (not mixed with other substances)

61248

53835

7,413

13.77

PVC (non-plasticised)

139

51

88

172.55

PVC (plasticised)

2063

1696

367

21.64

PVC (In aqueous dispersion)

6

24

-18

-75


By: Nurluqman Suratman



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