China Feb petchem output declines, led by methanol

18 March 2009 07:59  [Source: ICIS news]

SHANGHAI (ICIS news)--China’s petrochemical output fell in February due to overall soft demand with methanol showing the sharpest decline of 31.8% year-on-year, data from the China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Association (CPCIA) showed on Wednesday.

Petrochemical producers have been forced to reduce output to limit supply and control losses amid the  deepening global economic recession, CPCIA said.

Methanol output dropped sharply by 31.8% year-on-year to 607,000 tonnes in February, while the combined production in January and February was also down 28.9% to $1.229 m tonnes.

The reduction in methanol production was particularly obvious in southwest China, Inner Mongolia and Hainan with total month-on-month decline of 30,000 tonnes in February, said a market source.

Methanol plants have been running at low operating rates primarily due to subdued demand and high costs of feedstock coal, said a major producer.

Among the major methanol plants that cut production in February were Shaanxi Shenmu, which shut down its 400,000 tonne/year unit from early February to early March and Yulin Energy that ran its 600,000 tonne/year methanol plant at 40-50% capacity.

Benzene output also decreased by 18.7% year-on-year to 294,000 tonnes in February, while the combined production  in January and February was down 20.4% to 583,000 tonnes.

Panjin Ethylene, a subsidiary of Liaoning Huajin Chemicals, has not restarted its 60,000tonne/year benzene plant after it was shut down on 10 December 2008, said a company source.

The aromatic unit of Qilu Petrochemical with benzene capacity of 200,000 tonnes/year has also remained shut since early January and its restart date has not been finalised yet.

Products

Feb-09

Jan-Feb 2009

Output (‘000

tonnes)

% change*

Output (‘000 tonnes)

% change*

Inorganic chemicals

Sulphuric acid

4,292

6.7

7,807

-1.4

Concentrated Nitric acid

126

-17.0

248

-10.5

Hydrochloric acid

566

-1.8

1,105

-10.9

Caustic soda

1,366

1.5

2,549

-7.8

Calcium carbide

1,006

-10.0

1,806

-19.4

Organic chemicals

Ethylene

773

-10.6

1,567

-11.1

Benzene

294

-18.7

583

-20.4

Methanol

607

-31.8

1,229

-28.9

Glacial acetic acid

144

-24.3

247

-25.1

Synthetic material

Synthetic resin and co-polymer

2,520

0

4,860

-4.8

PE

608

-7.2

1,228

-8.3

PP

599

7.0

1,193

5.1

PVC

666

1.2

1,240

-6.7

Synthetic rubber

185

-3.4

379

0

Polyester

894

5.9

1,655

-2.5

Chemical fibre

1,946

18.3

3,549

3.9

Plastic product

3,302

22.5

6,101

10.9

 
















 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Source: CPCIA

For more information on methanol and benzene, visit ICIS chemical intelligence
To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect


By: Dolly Wu
+65 6780 4359



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