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Japan's chemical makers catalyzing products faster into cash

Speedier cash recovery made possible by better inventory controls and tighter petrochemicals market

Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings, which operates this acrylic resin facility, saw the average prices for the material jump 40% on the year during the fiscal first half.

TOKYO -- Four out of six major Japanese chemical manufacturers managed to shorten their cash conversion cycles in the six months through September due to enhanced inventory management and improving market conditions, freeing up funds to invest for their future growth.

Shin-Etsu Chemical, Sumitomo Chemical, Tosoh and Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings improved the business metric during the fiscal first half compared with the entire previous financial year. The cycle measures the time needed to retrieve production outlays. The cycle for Mitsui Chemicals remained flat, while Asahi Kasei recorded a slight increase.

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