Japanese petchem demand to remain steady

Jul 29, 1997 02:00 AM

July 10, 1997 Japanese petrochemical demand in the latter half of 1997 will remain brisk, but exports will lose momentum because of the start-up of additional plants in Asian countries, a Ministry of International Trade and Industry survey said.
Japanese ethylene demand for the entire year is projected to reach a record 7,347,000 tons, up nearly 3 % from last year, and demand for most polyolefins is also expected to rise.
In the first half of 1997, brisk petrochemical demand was supported by increased sales of consumer goods. This trend will likely continue in the latter half. Although ethylene derivative exports hit a record high in the first half, they will decline in the second but maintain vigour.
As for benzene, toluene, and xylene, the MITI survey projects domestic benzene demand will decline and exports substantially increase. Toluene imports will grow sharply to fill a large supply-demand gap in the domestic market, while xylene exports will drop rapidly and imports climb to meet solid domestic demand. In the second half of the year, domestic toluene demand is expected to grow favourably with the start-up of disproportionation units and an increase in use for octane- boosting gasoline additives. As a result, no toluene exports are anticipated. Paraxylene exports from Japan are expected to remain flat due to new PX units coming onstream in Southeast Asia.

Source: not available
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