China’s 2009 terephthalic acid imports rise 5% to 6.26m tonnes

27 January 2010 08:44  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--China imported a total of 6.26m tonnes of terephthalic acid (TA) in 2009, up 5% year on year, according to the latest trade statistics released by China Customs on Wednesday.

The import volume included 81% or 5.08m tonnes of purified TA (PTA) and a small proportion of other grades of TA, such as qualified TA (QTA) and crude TA (CTA), which are also used as feedstocks in the downstream polyester industry, the statistics showed.

The August-to-November period was the peak season in 2009, with TA imports surging 18% year on year, according to the data.

This also mirrored the traditional peak production season in the downstream polyester sector, some traders said.

However, the increase in TA imports was less than the growth in domestic production, which was estimated at 25% in 2009, a regional market source said.

China’s overall PTA production was estimated at 11.94m tonnes in 2009, a sharp year-on-year increase of 25%. This had resulted in a reduced import-to-demand ratio of 34%, compared with 38% in 2008, the market source said.

The figure indicated a decrease in China’s reliance on imports amid increased domestic PTA production capacity, the source added.

China added around 2m tonnes/year of new PTA capacity in 2009, bringing its total capacity to 14m tonnes/year, up 16% year on year. This was the fourth consecutive year with a capacity increase of more than 1.5m tonnes/year, the source said.

In addition, the fast recovery of Chinese domestic textile demand had laid a strong foundation for the growth of domestic PTA production, market observers said.

Overall TA demand in China grew 18% year on year to 18.2m tonnes in 2009, compared with a decline of 8% in 2008, the market source said.

For more on terephthalic acid visit ICIS chemical intelligence
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By: Becky Zhang
+65 6780 4359

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