29 December 2010 09:30 [Source: ICIS news]
By Judith Wang
“Demand for petrochemicals burst suddenly by the year-end after being constrained for almost one year, indicating the whole petrochemical sector is riding [towards a] better direction,” said Xiong Jie, an analyst from brokerage Huatai Securities.
Propylene imports jumped 40% to 157,917 tonnes, while butadiene imports were up 32% to 19,406 tonnes in November from a year earlier, based on official customs data. (Please see the table below)
Production cuts at Chinese petrochemical majors – Sinopec and PetroChina, which were preoccupied with boosting diesel output in the fourth quarter, partially caused the higher import volumes recorded in November, analysts said.
Meanwhile, high operating rates at Chinese acrylic fibre (AF) plants in November largely contributed to the 71% year-on-year jump in imports for feedstock acrylonitrile (ACN) at 52,572 tonnes, market players said.
The People’s Bank of China (PBoC), the country’s central bank, has nudged up the required reserve for banks six times this year and increased its policy rates twice - the latest was a 25-basis point increase on 26 December.
($1 = CNY6.63)
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