Since the second half of last year, the once vibrant business of petrochemicals has been passing through a difficult phase. Company after company had announced part closures or full closures during the third quarter of 2008, due to the slowdown in the down stream market of the key raw material used particularly in the textile industry.
Now it is the turn of the one of the biggest traders of the raw material; Sojitz Corporation which has announced that it is reducing its exposure to naphtha, by scaling down trading in the petrochemical. The company has put on hold contracts for deliveries in the next eleven months from suppliers of naphtha.
fibre2fashion.com spoke to Mr. Yoshikazu Ichikawa, spokesperson of the company who confirmed the decision of Sojitz and replied by saying, вЂњIn line with the company's continuous efforts to regenerate and strengthen its business models, our energy trading department has decided to prioritize and commit further personnel/assets to bio-fuels business going forward into fiscal 2009.вЂќ
He added by saying that, вЂњAs a result, we will be gradually scaling down our exposure in naphtha trading where we perceive a market price risk. On the other hand, we will continue to maintain our presence in the physical market through both the marketing of mainly our equity sourced barrels of feedstock and trading in all other petroleum products.вЂќ