Petrotahlil - Japan's output of key petrochemical products fell in April from a year earlier as the Covid-19 pandemic continued to pressure domestic and overseas demand. The Japanese market further stagnated amid restrictions on business and movement to curb the coronavirus.
Ethylene production fell by 9.8pc from a year earlier to 465,400t in April, according to data from the Japan petrochemical industry association. Ethylene is used as a feedstock for most of Japan's main petrochemical products.
Polypropylene output was down by 7.3pc to 179,400t, while polyvinyl chloride production fell by 16.5pc to 110,500t. Production of low-density polyethylene totalled 97,300t last month, down by 12.3pc on a year earlier. Output of ethylene glycol fell by 14.6pc to 52,000t. Acrylonitrile output also fell by 10.4pc to 38,000t. Styrene butadiene rubber output dropped by 31.3pc to 21,500t.
Japan's ethylene operating rates were 91.4pc in April, down by 4.3 percentage points from 95.7pc a year earlier, as petrochemical firms reduced cracker run rates in response to weaker domestic consumption.