China’s June petchem imports fall on weak demand, slow growth

27 July 2010 07:16  [Source: ICIS news]

By Judith Wang 

Chinese imports decline SHANGHAI (ICIS news)--China’s petrochemical imports continued their downtrend in June, reflecting the cooling down of the country’s economy and slower pace of industrial growth, analysts said on Tuesday.

“Last month, the domestic demand for petrochemicals was very soft with a cooling second-quarter economy and an easing of industrial production growth,” said Wang Qiang, an analyst with Shanghai-based Xiang Cai Securities.

China’s ethylene imports dropped 44% year-on-year in June to 52,768 tonnes while propylene imports dipped 23% to 129,185 tonnes, according to the data from China Customs. (please see table below)

June benzene imports plummeted 70% to 12,146 tonnes while imports of toluene decreased 37% to 57,622, the data said.

China’s methanol imports fell 10% year-on-year to 446,786 though it showed an 8% rise over May as trading activities increased despite the extension of antidumping investigations on imports from four countries, traders said.

Increased capacities from new petrochemical complexes like the Sinopec-SABIC Tianjin complex and Sinopec Zhenhai Refining and Chemical Co may have also contributed to the drop in imports, a local trader said.

Buyers had reduced imports due to increased availability of cheaper domestic cargoes with shorter delivery time schedules, the trader added.

Domestic petrochemical prices also fell last month, so importers were unwilling to buy foreign cargoes on squeezed margins. On the other hand, exporters were rushing to sell cargoes to take profits on higher prices in overseas market,” Wang from Xiang Cai Securities said.  

In June, exports of high density polyethylene (HDPE) and low density polyethylene (LDPE) surged to 5,209 tonnes and 7,499 tonnes from 1,160 tonnes and 2,018 tonnes year on year respectively, China Customs data showed.

Traders and analysts expected petrochemical imports to rise in the third quarter as demand traditionally peaked between July and October in time for the increased demand from Europe and the US during Christmas.

However, a strong recovery in the domestic downstream sectors was necessary for petrochemical imports to show a long term upward trend, they added.

Jun-10

Import

Export

Product

Import (tonnes)

YoY growth (%)

MoM growth (%)

Export (tonnes)

YoY growth (%)

MoM growth (%)

Naphtha

217,113

107%

45%

117,365

0%

-32%

Olefins

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ethylene

52,768

-44%

-26%

0.001

 

-100%

Propylene

129,185

-23%

20%

0

 

 

Butadiene

8,617

-67%

-47%

14,654

657%

95%

Polymers

 

 

 

 

 

 

HDPE

244,735

-43%

-8%

5,209

349%

-42%

LDPE

90,806

-18%

-21%

7,499

272%

12%

LLDPE

150,943

-15%

-7%

3,413

352%

65%

PP

302,773

-26%

4%

6,781

137%

-20%

PVC

116,888

-46%

12%

32,171

334%

2%

Aromatics

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benzene

12,146

-70%

-48%

25,675

42%

185%

Toluene

57,622

-37%

-10%

5380

1687%

2604%

MX

24

-49%

-20%

25

47%

-32%

PX

280,685

-29%

5%

5,216

-88%

 

Intermediates

 

 

 

 

 

 

SM

264,576

-10%

-15%

2

-96%

-94%

PTA

466,986

10%

2%

0

-100%

 

MEG

534,450

12%

1%

276

182%

-7%

Phenol

37,963

-19%

-25%

4,942

8570%

-10%

Others

 

 

 

 

 

 

Methanol

446,786

-10%

8%

154

-56%

48%

Acetone

49,280

-12%

-9%

43

-57%

-46%

BPA

26,888

-33%

-18%

1,313

4135%

153%

Base oil

191,976

-22%

-14%

1,059

-32%

-81%

MMA

8,792

-50%

24%

5,870

437%

0%

PMMA

19,702

5%

-7%

1,275

2%

-21%

Source: China Customs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
With additional reporting from Dolly Wu

To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect
Read John Richardson and Malini Hariharan’s blog – Asian Chemical Connections


By: Judith Wang
+65 6780 4359



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