PATTAYA, Thailand (ICIS)--Japan’s demand for naphtha to produce ethylene in 2013 rose by 5.8% year on year to 29.7m tonnes, reflecting strong market demand, Japan Petrochemical Industry Association (JPCA) said on Thursday.
Additionally, naphtha demand for BTX (benzene toluene and xylenes) production increased by 3.4% to 18.9m tonnes in 2013, JPCA said in a report it presented at the annual Asia Petrochemical Industry Conference (APIC) being held in Pattaya on 15-16 May.
Domestic naphtha supply for the petrochemicals sector in 2013 was at 20.4m tonnes, representing 45% of the total naphtha supply, and 8% higher than the previous year, JPCA said. It attributed the rise to the full recovery of refineries from the damage done by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
The country imported 24.9m tonnes of naphtha, a 5% increase year on year, to meet domestic demand, it added.
The operating rate of domestic naphtha crackers increased from an average of 84% in 2012 to 85.5% in 2013, JPCA said.
It said this was due to increased demand of the ethylene derivatives, resulting from a recovery of the world economy after the European debt crisis, and amid relatively strong Asian olefins market conditions.
“As a special factor in Japan, correction of the appreciation of yen improved export conditions and also the government’s monetary policy stimulated the domestic economy,” it added.