S Korea's February petchem exports mostly higher - KITA

21 March 2017 03:17 Source:ICIS News


SINGAPORE (ICIS)--South Korea’s exports of most petrochemicals in February rose year on year, with shipments of paraxylene (PX) up by 4.7% to 558,958 tonnes, industry data showed on Tuesday.

Of the 30 chemicals whose shipments were tracked by ICIS on the Korea International Trade Association (KITA) website, 20 registered higher volumes while 9 posted declines. (please see table below)

Among other aromatic products, South Korea’s exports of benzene rose by 15.6% year on year to 207,296 tonnes in February while shipments of toluene were down by 62.3% at 17,208 tonnes.

The country’s exports of purified terephthalic acid (PTA) in February surged by 45.1% year on year to 183,178 tonnes while shipments of styrene monomer (SM) fell by 14.9% to 92,983 tonnes.

South Korea’s exports of ethylene rose by 3.2% year on year to 53,637 tonnes in February while shipments of propylene were up by 37.4% to 127,539 tonnes.

In value terms, the country’s total exports rose by 20.2% year on year to $43.2bn in February, while imports grew by 23.3% to $36bn, according to earlier data from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE).

The amount of exports in February was the highest since February 2012, the ministry said.

South Korea’s trade surplus amounted to $7.2bn in February, representing a 61-month streak of surplus, MOTIE said.

The country’ petrochemicals exports surged 42.6% to $3.8bn in February, the largest amount since October 2014 on the back of higher product prices, while shipments of petroleum products leaped by 72.3% to $2.9bn for the same reason, it said.

Shipments to China, Korea’s largest trading partner, rose by 28.7% to $11.1bn, marking the highest growth since November 2010 as well as the fourth consecutive month of expansion, according to MOTIE.

“The Ministry forecasts exports would continue to recover in March,” it said.

“The upward trend has been firmly established with the visible outcomes of trade policy changes to boost exports, such as the diversification of export goods and target markets,” MOTIE added.

Product Feb 2017 (in tonnes) Feb 2016 (in tonnes) YoY Difference (in tonnes) % Change YoY
Ethylene 53,637 51,967 1,670 3.2
Benzene 207,296 179,377 27,919 15.6
Polypropylene 133,625 116,009 17,616 15.2
Phenol 26,621 14,123 12,498 88.5
Acetone 19,287 12,422 6,865 55.3
Butyl glycol ether 5,854 4,823 1,031 21.4
Polyethylene 86,575 100,398 -13,823 -13.8
Toluene 17,208 45,585 -28,377 -62.3
Propylene 127,539 92,854 34,685 37.4
Butadiene Rubber 30,150 31,103 -953 -3.1
Buta-1,3-diene and isoprene 19,341 9,510 9,831 103.4
Styrene 92,983 109,321 -16,338 -14.9
Paraxylene 558,958 533,679 25,279 4.7
PET NA 71,588 NA NA
Mixed Xylene Isomers 1,313 1,289 24 1.9
PTA 183,178 126,218 56,960 45.1
MMA 3,750 4,166 -416 -10.0
PMMA 11,206 12,871 -1,665 -12.9
Expansible Polystyrene 6,949 7,127 -178 -2.5
Acrylonitrile 25,598 23,859 1,739 7.3
Polycarbonates 49,231 48,468 763 1.6
Ethyl Acetate 5 16 -11 -68.8
Vinyl Acetate Monomer 0 15 -15 -100.0
Ethyl alcohol & other spirits 133 13 120 923.1
Isocyanates 38,050 26,729 11,321 42.4
Paraffin Wax (slack wax and scale wax) 1,060 443 617 139.3
P-wax with less than 0.75% 42 215 -173 -80.5
PVC (plasticised) 1,984 1,421 563 39.6
Linear Alkyl Benzene (LAB) 12,664 9,956 2,708 27.2
Linear Alkylbenzene Sulphonate (LAS) and  Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulphate (SLES) 16,256 13,551 2,705 20.0

Picture source: ddp USA/REX/Shutterstock

By Nurluqman Suratman