TOKYO, March 10 (Reuters) – Japanese ethylene production plunged 23.7 percent year on year in February, government data showed,falling by double digits for
the sixth straight month as demand stayed weak for petrochemicals.
Ethylene output totalled 463,200 tonnes last month, compared with 606,800 tonnes in February 2008 and 501,300 tonnes in January,the Ministry of Economy,
Trade and Industry said on Tuesday.
The global financial crisis has dented demand for petrochemicals and in turn kept the Asian ethylene market weak.
February saw no maintenance-related plant shutdowns in Japan, the same as for February 2008 and January, METI said.
Ethylene, made from naphtha, is a basic feedstock for petrochemicals that are processed into products such as plastics.
The export volume in January of ethylene jumped 25.7 percent to 230,700 tonnes from a year earlier, the data showed. February export figures have yet to be
released. (Reporting by James Topham; Editing by Chris Gallagher)