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Ethylene output falls by double digits in September
16
Oct '08
The once vibrant petrochemical industry of Asia is going through a very rough period since the beginning of the current year. The ever rising crude prices dealt the first blow to the industry in the first seven months.

Just when oil prices began their slide, came the economic turmoil and recessionary across the globe to deal the final blow to a sector which was already tethering under rising crude oil prices of previous months.

In the midst of this entire crisis, many petrochemical companies in South-East Asia considered it prudent to cut back their operating rates in face of rising inventory levels due to a slow down in demand from down stream industries.

Japan which has one of the highest petrochemical capacities also fell victim to the crisis. Recently released data received by fibre2fashion from Chemical Industry Division, METI, Japan suggests that ethylene production has fallen by 14 percent in September compared to the same month in 2007.

Ethylene output fell to 528,400 tons last month, compared to 614,000 tons in September 2007. Ethylene output has seen a drop of nearly 112,600 tons in September or 17.56 percent down from its peak output of 641,000 tons in January 2008.

Exports of ethylene have also witnessed a drop in the month of August. Exports are down by 9.1 percent to a year earlier and 6.6 percent to the previous month of July.

The month of September saw shutdowns or announcements of outages from major ethylene manufacturers like Maruzen Petrochemical Co Ltd and Mitsui Chemicals. The likes of Sumitomo Chemical Co have revised their earnings forecast too.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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