Tokyo — Figures from Japan's Ministry of International, Trade and Industry (MITI) show the industry produced 12% less polyurethane foam in 2015 compared with 2014, the second biggest drop in 20 years' of figures.
In 2015 figures show the industry produced 174 kT compared with 198kT in 2014. The biggest fall was in the rigid sector which saw a 19.3% drop from 76 kT in 2014 to 61kT in 2015. The flexible sector was more resilient with a 7.5% drop year on year from 122kT in 2014 to 113kT in 2015.
Figures from MITI show that in 1995 the Japanese polyurethane industry was producing around 275kT of all types of polyurethane in 1995. This grew too just under 300kT in 1997 before starting a long slow decline to around 250kT in 2005. Production fell more sharply between 2006 and 2008 reaching a low of 163 kt in 2009. That was a drop of 58kT or 26% fall compared to the previous year.
The industry has been on slow recovery since then with 2014 the best year since 2008.