Japanese chemicals show signs of recovery


The Japanese chemicals sector is showing signs of recovery, owing to reconstruction demand in the wake of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, as well as the government’s bold new monetary and spending policies.

The turnaround has been attributed to an increase in foreign exports driven by a weaker Yen and more public spending.  Mitsui Chemicals and Tokuyama both managed to absorb increased raw material and fuel costs by improving sales of high-value-added products. Both companies returned from net loss in the first half of last year to positive figures in 2013.

Sumitomo Chemical performed the biggest recovery, from a net loss of ¥13 billion (£83 million) for the fiscal first half last year, to a net profit of ¥12.5 billion this year – largely driven by a sales increase of 9.3% to ¥1.05 trillion. Asahi Kasei, Mitsubishi Chemical, Tosoh and Kuraray also saw increased net profits.

Against almost flat sales relative to the first half of last year, Ube saw a 21.4% drop in net profit to ¥6.6 billion (£41.6 million). The fall is partially attributed to caprolactam market competition from new Chinese facilities and patents expiring for some of its pharmaceutical products. The company has engaged measures to solve various operational tasks and regain growth but these have yet to deliver results.

Showa Denko was even less fortunate – reporting a 40% fall in net profit to ¥6.7 billion, despite a massive increase in petrochemicals sales. Decreased profits in its electronics business and a higher income tax bill contributed to the loss.

 


Related Content

Business roundup

28 July 2011 Business

news image

Industry news, August 2011

Explosive end for Japan's second world war chemical weapons

9 June 2014 News and Analysis

news image

Bombs and mortars abandoned by retreating Japanese troops in China are finally being destroyed

Most Read

Bubble wrap could send lab costs packing

23 July 2014 Research

news image

Potential bubbles up across wide range of uses as storage and test vessels, especially for poor countries

Coffee cup confusion

20 July 2014 Research

news image

Scientists call for better labelling after research highlights inconsistencies in the chemical composition of a cup of coffee

Most Commented

Bubble wrap could send lab costs packing

23 July 2014 Research

news image

Potential bubbles up across wide range of uses as storage and test vessels, especially for poor countries

Relativity behind mercury's liquidity

21 June 2013 Research

news image

First evidence that relativistic effects are indeed responsible for mercury's low melting point