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Olefins shipments from Japan cancelled

March 17/2011

(ICIS) -- Olefins shipments from Japan this month have been cancelled as some naphtha crackers in the country remain shut about a week after a massive earthquake and tsunami hit the northern part of the country, market sources said on Thursday. At least 15,000 tonnes of propylene cargoes and around 10,000 tonnes of ethylene shipments were affected, traders estimated.

Mitsubishi Chemicals two crackers in Kashima, along with Maruzen Petrochemicals 520,000 tonne/year ethylene plant in Chiba, remain off line.

JX Nippon Oil and Energys 460,000 tonne/year cracker and an olefins conversion unit (OCU), which can produce 140,000 tonnes/year of propylene, in Kawasaki are still shut, market sources said.

On the other hand, Mitsui Chemicals has increased the operating rate at its 617,000 tonne/year cracker in Chiba to close to 100% after earlier reducing output in the wake of the disaster, a company source said.

Japan exported around 480,000 tonnes of ethylene and 700,000 tonnes of propylene in 2010, according to estimates from traders.

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