China imports of most petrochemicals grow in August

28 September 2011 09:06  [Source: ICIS news]

SHANGHAI (ICIS)--China continued to import strong volumes of various petrochemical products in August, with those of methyl methacrylate (MMA), butyl acrylate (BA), bisphenol-A (BPA) and polysilicon showing significant increases, official data showed on Wednesday.

The country, which is a major import market for petrochemicals in Asia, more than tripled its MMA imports at 15,127 tonnes compared to the same period last year. Its BA imports more than doubled 2,986 tonnes and its BPA imports nearly had a twofold increase at 60,595 tonnes, according to China Customs data.

Its polysilicon imports in August also grew 74% year on year to 6,474 tonnes, the data showed.

The strong growth in polysilicon imports can be attributed to the fast-paced development of the photovoltaic industry in the country, on the back of favourable government policy, said an industry source.

Polysilicon is the feedstock in making solar wafers, cells, modules and panels.

China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) had set in August a new benchmark on grid prices for the photovoltaic sector. Developers of solar power projects, which received approval before 1 July and are due to be completed by end-2011, can now sell to grid operators at yuan (CNY) 1.15/kilowatt hour (kWh) (18 cents/kWh)..

Meanwhile, China’s olefins imports continued to grow at a double-digit pace, with ethylene volumes up 52% at 102,214 tonnes, propylene rising 40% to 145,650 tonnes and butadiene growing 25% at 11,284 tonnes, official data showed.

ICIS tracks China’s imports of 35 petrochemical products, 20 of which showed increased volumes year on year, while 15 products registered declines. The country’s naphtha imports also fell 24% year on year in August to 177,584 tonnes.

Among the imported petrochemical products in August, monoethylene glycol (MEG) imports had the biggest volume at 670,446 tonnes, up 20% year on year.

China’s MEG imports were 26% higher compared to July volumes, with the full resumption of Taiwanese supply from Nan Ya Plastics, said an industry source.

The Taiwanese firm’s four MEG plants in Mailiao were all running normally in August.

Meanwhile, China’s phenol imports grew 54% year on year to 63,845 tonnes in August, taking in more cargoes from Europe and the US, industry sources said.

2011-Aug

Import

Export

Product

Import (tonnes)

YoY growth (%)

MoM growth (%)

Export (tonnes)

YoY growth (%)

MoM growth

(%)

Naphtha

177,584

-24%

3%

41,163

-49%

38%

Ethylene

102,214

52%

18%

3

-100%

0%

Propylene

145,650

40%

-8%

5

-

-29%

Butadiene

11,284

25%

164%

2,957

-84%

-67%

HDPE

320,517

10%

27%

6,904

120%

-58%

LDPE

169,520

113%

43%

6,306

-39%

-17%

LLDPE

274,334

21%

59%

4,166

407%

-54%

PP

351,928

11%

6%

15,812

96%

-3%

PVC

98,933

-26%

20%

34,127

43%

-17%

EPS

6,260

1%

0%

21,654

-28%

-33%

Benzene

9,183

-56%

2%

14,555

65%

146%

Toluene

49,231

-21%

-15%

31

-99%

-84%

MX

13

44%

-38%

78

95%

169%

PX

460,400

47%

6%

14,748

195%

-52%

SM

347,359

6%

29%

40

19900%

-72%

PTA

463,360

-1%

6%

0

-

-100%

MEG

670,446

20%

26%

309

-11%

12%

CAN

37,570

-4%

32%

0

-

-

Caprolactam

51,200

13%

14%

1,321

5404%

-

Phenol

63,845

54%

4%

73

-93%

-98%

Methanol

446,220

-11%

-11%

14,075

13054%

-21%

Acetone

53,592

-7%

14%

3

-85%

-95%

BPA

60,595

98%

71%

500

178%

4445%

IPA

7,929

-20%

57%

70

-1%

-66%

MEK

3,357

57%

675%

7,200

-11%

-33%

Base oil

136,131

-2%

-2%

13,766

135%

-16%

MMA

15,127

222%

58%

4,634

-11%

-29%

PMMA

16,212

-11%

-11%

1,256

6%

32%

GAA

2,608

-44%

28%

3,438

-29%

-18%

BA

2,986

113%

111%

2,024

-67%

-59%

2EHA

2,007

5%

-15%

255

-59%

-79%

2-EH

23,259

-53%

-1%

110

-45%

-11%

NBA

30,617

-28%

-29%

57

-65%

159%

PA

13,357

-6%

60%

141

271%

-74%

DOP

7,836

-1%

64%

790

-4%

-56%

Polysilicon

6,474

74%

25%

172

-9%

50%

 Source: China Customs

Read John Richardson and Malini Hariharan’s blog – Asian Chemical Connections


By: Dolly Wu
+65 6780 4359



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