Low China output tightens global rosin supply - consultant

26 August 2010 18:44  [Source: ICIS news]

NEW YORK (ICIS)--The global rosin market is experiencing a severe shortage because of last year’s production decline in China, an industry consultant said on Thursday.

“Global rosin production dropped to 1.13m short tons last year after it reached a record high production of 1.48m tons in 2007,” said Donald Stauffer, president of Pennsylvania, US-based consulting firm International Development Associates (IDA).

IDA’s newly released 2010 Study of International Rosin Markets reported a 33% decline in Chinese rosin production from 826,000 tons in 2007 to 553,000 tons in 2009.

“Although gum rosin is expected to increase by 10-20% this year, long-term Chinese production is expected to decline because of industrialisation of lands formerly occupied by pine woods and increasing shortage of available labour,” said Stauffer.

Rosin is a natural form of resin that is obtained from pine and other coniferous plants. According to IDA, gum rosin accounted for 67% of the global total rosin production.

Tall oil rosin (TOR) accounted for 32% while wood rosin was only 1%. The US remains the largest producer of TOR.

Stauffer said TOR supply was also tightening as availability of crude tall oil, the supply source for TOR, has been on the decline because of the closure of pulp mills in the US and Europe.

“At the same time, consumption of rosin and its derivatives, especially for adhesives and printing ink, continues its growth at 2-4%/year. There are currently no visible new sources for rosin production other than in Brazil,” said Stauffer.

Hydrocarbon resins would have to supply the market gap, he said.

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By: Doris de Guzman
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