Korean petchem exports high due to Chinese demand

Jul 29, 1997 02:00 AM

July 15, 1997 The growth rate of South Korean export of petrochemicals compared with the same month of the previous year reached 15.9 % in April and 54.3 % in May. These significant increases reflected increased demand from China and a reduction of Japanese synthetic resin exports to China. Most of the South Korean chemical producers expect that the growth rate will be slightly lower but will remain at a high level until autumn.
The South Korean domestic economy has become stagnant and no clear signs of recovery are observed in the economy as a whole. Still, market prices of petrochemicals, mainly synthetic resin, turned upward slightly in Asia, which will have a positive effect upon South Korean exports. In the meantime, the foreign exchange market is moving from cheaper yen to higher yen, helping South Korean producers to regain export competitiveness.
However, Singapore's second ethylene plant with a 500,000 tpy capacity recently started operation, while Hyundai Petrochemical Co. will start full operation of its new 450,000- tpy plant at the end of this year. These circumstances have created concern about the market situation in and after autumn.

Source: not available
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