This study seeks to examine the recent trends of the Korean petrochemical industry, identify problems found in the industry and forecast the conditions of the domestic and international markets. The study seeks to further identify potential problems that may arise from the shutting down of petrochemical plants and to draw out appropriate countermeasures.
The Korean petrochemical industry showed continuous progress until 1970, but its growth slowed down in the 1980s as regulations on imports were eliminated. Korea’s representative petrochemical zones are located in Ulsan and Yeocheon, and are strongly export-intensive with products including synthetic resins, tires, and shoes among other products. The export amount of products processed with synthetic resins in 1977 was about $3.2 million, which thereafter posted continuous increases and recorded $6.05 million in 1981. Between 1977 and 1982, the trade volume of tires and tubes increased by at least 1.5%, and 2.7% at the highest. During the same period, the export volume of shoes increased by 4.8%, and 5% at the highest during the same period.
As the core industry of the country, the petrochemical industry is operated under a self-supporting system by producing petrochemicals with its complex zones at Ulsan and Yeocheon. However, forecasts of the petrochemical industry indicates that demand for the industry making a slight decrease starting from 1979. As a general forecast of the industry, the production capacity of synthetic resins in 1982 will reach around 739–746 thousand MT, marking continuous growth every year and reaching 1.165-1.288 million MT by 1986. The production capacity of synthetic rubbers in 1982 is expected to reach around 101-104 thousand MT, marking a growth to 126-149 thousand MT by 1986. In general, exports for synthetic resins are predicted to increase by 5-10% every year while exports for synthetic rubbers are predicted to increase by 0-5%. However, the export conditions of synthetic products are still unstable despite its rate of increase. And considering the competitive edge of industries of major countries, a countermeasure must be devised in order to be able to deal with the rising competition.
For this, countermeasures must be devised from various perspectives, including the following: practical improvement schemes to maintain the industry’s current level instead of a large-scale investment; adjustment of production costs through government intervention and implementation of necessary schemes; and formation of a competitive international price.
석유화학공업의 문제점과 합리화방안(Study of the problems of the petrochemical industry and their countermeasures)
|Series Title; No||정책연구시리즈 / 82-09|
|Subject Country||South Korea(Asia and Pacific)|
|Subject||Industry and Technology < Energy|
|Holding||KDI; KDI School|