Tokyo — Japan produced more polyurethane in 2018, the third consecutive year in which there has been an increase, according to Japan's Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI). However, the rate of annual growth is slowing.
In total, Japanese output increased by 7.6% in 2016, 6.3% in 2017 and 3.7% in 2018. The rate of annual growth in the Japanese polyurethane industry has varied markedly since 1995. See chart.
The country produced 206.8kT in 2018, a total of 8.7kT or 4% more than the 198.4 kT produced in 2014. That is the last high point since the 2008 global economic crash.
However, the peak was in 1997, when Japan produced 296.6 kT; in 2018, output was about 70% of that figure.
The Japanese industry produced 19.2 kT in November 2018, up 2% on November 2019. December 2018 production was 3% lower than December 2017, at 16.9 kT.
Figures from MITI show that in 1995 the Japanese polyurethane industry was producing about 275 kT of all types of polyurethane. This grew to just under 300 kT in 1997 before starting a long slow decline to about 250 kT in 2005. Production fell more sharply between 2006 and 2008, reaching a low of 163 kT in 2009. That represents a drop of 58 kT, or 26%, compared to the previous year.
There is a two month lag between the reporting month and the availability of statistics from MITI.