06 March 2000 00:00 [Source: ACN]
Chinese imports of purified terephthalic acid (PTA) doubled in 1999 to 1.52m tonne from 730 000 tonne in 1998, according to estimates by Mitsubishi Corp.
In 2000, PTA imports are expected to reach 1.8m tonne to support anticipated polymerisation expansions, despite the addition of 445 000 tonne/year of domestic PTA capacity this year. Mitusbishi forecasts that Chinese PTA imports in 2001 could be as high as 2.2-2.3m tonne.
Chinese polyester players are planning to add 700 000 tonne/year of polymerisation capacity during 2000, and a further 1.5m tonne/year during 2001, the Mitsubishi Corp source told ACN. Chinese sources confirmed plans to add 500 000 tonne/year of capacity this year (ACN 21 Feb, p42). The expansions have been encouraged by the strength of the domestic Chinese polyester market following the government crackdown on smuggling and illegal imports in July 1998, said the Mitsubishi source.
The moves to add to polycondensation capacity follow earlier attempts to stem overinvestment, including a ban on new polyester investments.
The latest round of capacity expansions reflects a perceived need in the market to make up for lost ground.
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