FocusChina's strong petchem imports to subside in 2010 - analysts

27 November 2009 05:53  [Source: ICIS news]

By Judith Wang and Dolly Wu

SHANGHAI(ICIS news)--China's petrochemical imports should post a "reasonable" growth next year, more subdued than what it has been so far this year, as the effects of the government's fiscal stimulus package will likely start to wear off, industry analysts said on Friday.

Based on latest data from China Customs, toluene imports had the biggest year-on-year surge in October among petrochemical products, rising 713% to 37,744 tonnes.

China's methanol imports, meanwhile, surged 142% to 170,240 tonnes last month. Butadiene imports jumped 82% to 7,389 tonnes, while it took in 314,586 tonnes of styrene monomer (SM), representing an annual increase of 64%, based on official trade statistics.

“The strong growth will extend to the end of this year, but it will likely slow and remain at reasonable levels next year on some macro[economic] factors," said Nanjing-based Huatai Securities analyst  Xiong Jie, citing the possible tightening of monetary policy and the cessation of government incentive measures as the Chinese economy recovers.

As the leading importer of petrochemicals in Asia, China has been instrumental in the recovery of product prices this year following severe weakness in 2008.

The strong growth in volumes of imported polyolefins, phenol and acetone, particularly going into the fourth quarter of this year, was a reflection of the low base in 2008 at the height of the global economic and financial turmoil, said Xiong of Huatai Securities.

Petrochemical product prices in Asia have remained below pre-crisis levels despite some recovery this year and the low prices may have also spurred the strong demand from China, analysts said.

“I think low import price is the key reason that boosted imports plus the fact that China is shifting its economic growth from  investments and exports towards domestic consumption,” Li Guangzan, an analyst from Hangzhou-based Founder Securities said.

The ongoing industrialization of China's huge economy - currently the third biggest in the world - fuels its massive need for imported crude and makes the country the second largest carbon dioxide (CO2) emitter globally.

On Thursday, China revealed its plans to do its share in the global efforts to advance clean energy. Its State Council has committed to reduce the intensity of the country's CO2 emissions per unit of GDP in 2020 by 40-45% compared with 2005 levels.

China also reiterated its goal to supply 15% of primary fuel consumption with non-fossil fuels by 2020.

“The goal provides a challenge to China’s energy consumption structure. In the future, the natural gas consumption will definitely rise given that it is more environmental compared with crude and coal,” said Li of Founder Securities. 

Oct-09

Import

Export

Product

Import (tonnes)

YoY growth (%)

MoM growth (%)

Export (tonnes)

YoY growth (%)

MoM growth (%)

Naphtha

327,674

762%

-9%

59,511

1%

-51%

Olefins

 

 

 

 

 

 

Product

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ethylene

64,157

0%

-22%

4,382

219000%

23%

Propylene

109,586

18%

-10%

0

-100%

-100%

Butadiene

7,389

82%

-62%

9,841

-25%

408%

Polymers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Product

 

 

 

 

 

 

HDPE

240,211

65%

-35%

1,664

-50%

1%

LDPE

83,854

71%

-15%

2,104

78%

-35%

LLDPE

172,880

63%

0%

282

-25%

-46%

PP

278,867

26%

-27%

4,434

18%

-10%

PVC

84,109

33%

-20%

36,449

9%

-40%

PS

6,154

-25%

-22%

23,255

23%

-17%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aromatics

 

 

 

 

 

 

Product

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benzene

17,035

-2%

190%

51,893

261%

55%

Toluene

37,744

713%

-49%

451

242%

84%

MX

19

-58%

-100%

28

2700%

-7%

PX

249,214

-4%

-26%

35,201

3%

-37%

Intermediates

 

 

 

 

 

 

Product

 

 

 

 

 

 

SM

314,586

64%

-13%

0.2

-33%

-99%

PTA

398,322

6%

-18%

0

0

0

MEG

414,281

0%

-25%

158

-95%

-93%

ACN

25,888

30%

-28%

0

0

0

Caprolactam

36,109

59%

-35%

500

41%

-1%

Phenol

32,311

47%

-35%

3,401

24193%

3901%

Others

 

 

 

 

 

 

Product

 

 

 

 

 

 

Methanol

170,240

142%

-45%

3,383

12%

1%

Acetone

25,408

28%

-55%

16

-33%

60%

BPA

25,557

-11%

-51%

816

649%

157%

IPA

5,148

-30%

-26%

46

-61%

-48%

MEK

1,216

-51%

-69%

1,154

4516%

-86%

Base oil

120,547

14%

-29%

4,685

0%

-2%

MMA

10,727

80%

-34%

772

-74%

7%

PMMA

14,548

16%

-30%

626

-10%

-24%

Source: China Customs

To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect


By: Judith Wang
+65 6780 4359



AddThis Social Bookmark Button

For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.

Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.

Printer Friendly

ICIS news FREE TRIAL
Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.
ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)
ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index

Related Articles