China demand for aromatics will continue to grow - engineer

24 November 2010 14:32  [Source: ICIS news]

BERLIN (ICIS)--Demand for aromatics in China will continue to increase, driven by the growing automobile and textile industries, China International Chemical Consulting Corporation project manager and senior engineer Yu Jing said on Wednesday.

Speaking at the 9th European Aromatics and Derivatives Conference, she said that demand for derivatives including polystyrene (PS), acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS), phenol and purified terephthalic acid (PTA) will continue to grow in the next five years.

The Chinese government encourages the building of large-scale aromatics complexes with advanced technology and the increased use of domestic technology and equipment, she said. This will lead to supply and demand for the main aromatics to be nearly balanced by 2015.

The consumption of benzene in China is expected to reach 5.46m tonnes in 2010, compared with 4.98m tonnes in 2009. By 2015, benzene demand in China could reach 9m to 10m tonnes, she added.

However, with new refineries and aromatics projects coming on stream in 2009-2010, capacity is exceeding demand, leaving operating rates at low levels of 58% this year. In addition, restrictions on the benzene content of gasoline will increase benzene supplies to the market, she said.

Paraxylene (PX) capacity in China rose from 4.26m tonnes/year in 2008 to 7.08m tonnes/year in 2009. However, it lags behind PTA demand as most of the new PTA plants built in recent years do not have PX units, she added.

In 2010, PX demand is expected to be 9.72m tonnes and output around 6.3m tonnes. It is estimated that imports will be around 3.6m tonnes.

PX demand in China will probably reach 15m tonnes by 2015, while capacity will reach 13.5m tonnes/year, she said.

China’s PTA capacity reached 15.6m tonnes/year in 2010, while output is expected to be around 14.1m tonnes. Demand for PTA will be about 19.6m tonnes in 2010, compared with 18.2m tonnes in 2009.

Net imports of PTA will be 5.5m tonnes in 2010. China imports PTA mainly from South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand, with these three countries accounting for 92% of PTA imports in 2009.

By 2015, PTA demand is expected to reach 24.2m tonnes, while capacity will reach 21.5m tonnes/year, she added.

The 9th European Aromatics and Derivatives Conference takes place in Berlin, Germany, on 23-24 November 2010.

For more on PS, ABS, phenol. PTA, benzene and PX, visit ICIS chemical intelligence
To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect

By: Peter Taffe
+44 20 8652 3214

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