As petrochemical demand in Asia continues to deteriorate and prices fail to recover, several key players are reducing run rates or shuttering plants. Nippon Oil Corp., Japan's top refiner, is also mulling a twenty day shut down at its sole naphtha cracker in Kawasaki towards the end of the year. The cracker produces 404,000 tpa of ethylene. Besides the global economic meltdown that has led to an unprecedented deterioration of petrochemical markets, a decline in normal seasonal demand after the pre-Christmas manufacturing season has also added to the demand dearth. November ethylene production in Japan ebbed to 12 year lows, falling 17.7%.