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Price hike in petrochemicals arouses serious concern
Jun '08
There has been a wave of disappointment spreading over industries across Korea due to spiraling rise in the prices of petrochemicals.

Price hike of petrochemical products is more serious a problem in Korea than elsewhere because the country has insufficient natural resources and of other raw materials which are indispensable for use in textile industries.

The graveness of the situation dawned on Korea only after a survey was conducted on prices of raw material in various countries. Initiated by The Hankyoreh in collaboration with the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency, the survey was made in eight major countries including Germany, United States, Vietnam, Argentina, England, Japan, China and Korea.

The study revealed that the domestic prices for petrochemical products, especially ethylene and naphtha, had soared to a greater extent compared to the other countries under scrutiny.

While the wholesale prices of one ton of ethylene and one kiloliter of naphtha rose by 30.1 percent to about 1.82 million won or 1,762 USD and 18.5 percent to about 670,000 won or 648 USD respectively, while those for the same products in Japan grew by just 3.0 percent to about 1.47 million won or 1423 USD and 11.7 percent to about 640,000 won or 619 USD respectively.

Such vast differences in rise in rate of similar products in two different countries have been arousing concerns for industries in Korea. It is for sure that operations in manufacturing units would either slow down or absorb the price hike which would ultimately put the pressure on the end users.

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