SM production expansion absorbed by growing markets

Nov 20, 1996 01:00 AM

Asia's styrene monomer (SM) production capacity will expand by 1.7 mmtpy, which is equivalent to about 10% of the world's current capacity, by next spring as the result of successive plant start-ups. The expansion may have a temporary effect on the supply-demand situation of the Asian market but is expected to be absorbed by the rapidly growing market by the near future. In South Korea, Hyundai Petrochemical will complete a 300,000 tpy SM plant in December, and Yukong will inaugurate a 260,000 tpy plant in January, following the start-up of Samsung General Chemical's 350,000 tpy plant in October. In other Asian countries, Idemitsu Petrochemical (Japan) is scheduled to start up a 200,000 tpy SM plant in Malaysia in February. A Thai joint venture between Dow Chemical and Siam Group (Thailand) will complete a 200,000 tpy plant in March. An SM/PO plant being constructed by a Singapore joint venture of Mitsubishi Chemical (Japan) and Shell will supply 320,000 tpy of SM after its completion slated forMarch. In addition, it is reported that an SM plant with capacity of 30,000 - 50,000 tpy will be completed in China by next spring. The world's current SM production capacity totals at 17.8 mmtpy, which breaks down into 6.8 mmtpy in America, 5.7 mmtpy in Europe, 3 mmtpy in Japan and 2.3 mmtpy in other Asian countries. The global capacity is projected to reach 20.5 mmtpy by the end of 1997, consisting of 7.1 mmtpy in America, 6.2 mmtpy in Europe, 3.1 mmtpy in Japan and 4.1 mmtpy in other Asian countries. SM demand in Japan, the US and Europe has slowed down its annual growth rate to 1 - 2%. Meanwhile, that in other Asian countries has been continuing double-digit growth and is expected to reach 9.4 mmt in 1996.

Source: not available
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