Paraxylene demand to see growth rates of 5-7% per year - Nexant

23 November 2010 18:00  [Source: ICIS news]

BERLIN (ICIS)--Paraxylene (PX) demand is expected to grow strongly over the next several years, especially in developing countries’ textiles and packaging sectors, an energy and chemical consultant with Nexant said on Tuesday.

Speaking at the ninth European Aromatics and Derivatives conference in Berlin, Germany, Nexant’s Alastair Hensman said there would be global PX growth rates in the range of 5-7%, with rates tailing off to 5% per year by 2014-2015, as polyester markets start to become saturated, he added.

However, PX will remain oversupplied before recovering through to 2015, possibly delaying the start-up of any new aromatics complexes currently under study, Hensman noted.

PX demand grew by a compound average growth rate of 6.6% per year over the 2000-2007 period. Demand slipped by 4% in 2008 before recovering back to 2007 levels in 2009, he said.

Regarding developing countries’ markets for polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle resins, Hensman said there is still room for further growth, with significant potential in India.

PET bottle demand in China grew more than five-fold over the 2000-2009 period to reach 2.5kg per capita, he said.

China will remain a significant importer of PX to fulfil demand for polyester fibre production, despite adding new capacity in 2009, Hensman said.

New purified terephthalic acid (PTA) capacity will outweigh developments in PX, leading to a PX shortage in China of over 2m tonnes by 2012, he noted.

Hensman said he expects that new capacity in the Middle East will be able to supply this shortage. Kuwait and Oman have added 1.6m tonnes/year of paraxylene capacity.

However, the Middle East will face fierce competition from new export-oriented plants in South Korea, Singapore and India, he added.

The ninth Aromatics and Derivatives Conference, organised by ICIS and International eChem, concludes on 24 November.

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By: Peter Taffe
+44 20 8652 3214

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