Russia: ministry expects chemical production increase

Chemical and petrochemical production is expected to increase by 5% – 7% this year, a Russian Ministry of Industry source told Interfax. Production of mineral fertilizers is forecast at 12.9 million -…

Chemical and petrochemical production is expected to increase by 5% – 7% this year, a Russian Ministry of Industry source told Interfax. Production of mineral fertilizers is forecast at 12.9 million – 13 million tons, up 0.8% – 1.6% from 2001, production of chemical fibre and thread is expected to total 170,00 – 175,000 tons, 3% – 6.1% more than in 2001, he said. Truck tyre production is forecast at 11.6 million – 12.1 million tyres this year (up as much as 4.3%) and car tyre production will be 19.6 million – 20.1 million tyres, up 2.6% year-on-year. Existing capacity will be nearly completely utilized, he said. Production of synthetic resins and plastics will be up slightly. Polyethylene production could reach 940,000 – 945,000 tons (up 1.6%), production of polystyrene and styrene co-polymers will total 105,000 – 107,000 tons (up 1.9%), and production of PVC resins and vinyl chloride co-polymers will be 480,000 – 483,000 tons (up 0.6%). Production of soda ash and caustic soda, synthetic rubber and other products is also expected to increase as the market expands this year. The increases in production are small because the reserve of production capacity has been nearly exhausted and because supplies of raw hydrocarbons are unstable, he said. He said that hard currency earnings on chemical exports would increase at least 2% this year.